Amazon Looks to Enter Original Programming Battle

Seeks Creative Executives for Comedy and Kids' Series

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Amazon is seeking talent to create its own original programming through its People's Production Company, according to the e-commerce giant's job site.

Amazon is looking for a creative executive to "help develop half-hour comedies for online and tradition distribution," according to one job listing.

The listing, first pointed out by GigaOm, says a successful applicant will have experience in animation, a network of writers and artists, "excellent taste in comedic series" and "experience with online series development and production."

Another job listing seeks a creative director to develop half-hour children's series.

The employee search makes Amazon the latest digital video service to try its hand at original content. Netflix recently launch its first original series, "Lilyhammer," while Hulu has announced several new original series since the beginning of the year.

An Amazon spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

It remains to be seen how successful these services can be at producing content. Amazon may have a better chance than Netflix or Hulue, said Adam Hanft, founder and CEO of Hanft Projects, the marketing and branding firm.

"Amazon has a vast monetization engine; Netflix doesn't," he said. "As a result, Amazon knows how to invest in content in a much more meaningful way than anyone else."

But Mr. Hanft is still leery about any of these services developing content themselves, suggesting Amazon might do better by acquiring an existing studio.

Amazon continues to ramp up its streaming video offerings, most recently striking a deal with Viacom to stream television shows like "The Jersey Shore" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." That deal brought Amazon's streaming library to more than 15,000 movies and TV episodes, compared to more than 20,000 at rival Netflix.

Amazon's aggressive content acquisition strategy has led industry insiders, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, to predict that Amazon will soon offer streaming video as a stand-alone service. Amazon currently bundles streaming video into its Prime membership, which gives users free two-day shipping for $79 annually.

Amazon rejected those predictions last week when Brad Beale, its head of digital video content acquisition, told Gigaom that the company has no plans to break out the video streaming platform any time soon.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article erroneously said Viacom's deal pushed Amazon's streaming library above 14,000 movies and episodes of TV shows.

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