Amazon on the lookout for next Shakespeare
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Amazon on the lookout for next Shakespeare

Amazon’s incredible focus on providing top quality creative content is well known. The company pioneered independent publishing through its Kindle and Createspace platforms, offering wannabe authors historically unprecedented royalty deals, and curating the best work into easily searchable categories like “Kindle Singles”. More recently, the company has pumped funds into the production of video content – multi-award-winning movies and shows for its streaming video on demand (SVOD) platform – to help it bully rival Netflix. Now, Amazon has made its latest foray into the arts: a $5 million fund to provide grants to emerging playwrights.

Amazon is up an incredible 33% so far this year

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The fund will be offered through Amazon’s audiobook operation, Audible. Announced in The New York Times, Audible CEO Donald Katz said that the fund would, at first, support around a dozen playwrights to write one- or two-person plays that can be turned into audio-only products and sold exclusively on Audible. The grants offered by the company are intended to cover everything from the cost of production to “industry standards”, as well as the author’s own financial incentive. Audible also boasts an advisory board of theatrical heavy hitters such as actress Annette Bening and award-wining playwright Tom Stoppard.

Audible’s search for the next Shakespeare makes up just a small segment of Amazon’s overall spend on original content this year. According to one estimate, the company will be looking to provide $4.5 billion in funds for the year to secure top-notch creative properties. The majority of this will be aimed at Amazon Video to create or license more popular shows like Preacher and American Gods, furthering Amazon’s interests in the hotly contested SVOD space.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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