Amazon Prime Conquers Southeast Asia – Manila Bulletin
British-Filipino Erika North puts forward a plan to work with local content creators
One streaming site we’ve been subscribing to for quite some time is Amazon Prime, which is where we saw the original series. The wonderful Mrs. Maisel, The man in the high castle, Modern love, Homecoming, among other.
It was welcome news for us that Prime Video has a strategic plan to produce and license content targeting the Philippines as well as its Southeast Asian neighbors Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore over the next year.
At the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) 2021 in Singapore last week, Erika North, director of Amazon Originals Asia-Pacific, who has dual citizenship, British and Filipino, spoke about the possibility of getting our locals to to work with Amazon and for Prime Video to stream local original content on their global video streaming services.
“We’re really open to business, and our goal in Southeast Asia, as in any other part of the world, is to partner with the best local talent across the region to find stories and opportunities to tell and reinforce their stories for over 200 million Prime members in 240 countries and territories, ”says the Master of Science graduate from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
We all know that billionaire Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and his mission is to be “the most customer-centric company on earth.” One of their thriving services is the delivery of thousands of movies and TV shows through Prime Video.
More of our Filipino filmmakers should share their dream projects, especially now that Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win the Oscars Manchester by the sea and The seller.
Amazon Studios’ “home for talent” initiative encourages creative people to present original stories and series. You have the resources, infrastructure, and distribution to support and develop these ideas. Because of this, more of our Filipino filmmakers should be showcasing their dream projects, especially now that Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win the Oscars Manchester by the sea (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and The seller (Best Foreign Film) in 2017.
“We accept pitches as early as possible or as soon as someone is ready to share them with us,” says Erika. For pitching on Prime Video, Raphael Phang is the contact person for Southeast Asia. “Our team is very open-minded, really open to ideas,” added the former program and production manager of HBO Asia.
How can they unite audiences with over 600 million Southeast Asian people separated by different cultures and languages? “When we think of the type of content that has erupted in so many ways, the deeper, more informed, and more authentic your story, the greater your willingness to travel,” she muses.
One example she gave is documentary, a crazy Japanese TV show that got lots of laughs. The show, created by popular comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, has been reformatted and reinterpreted as LOL: The last one laughs around the world. “It’s the number 1 show for Prime Video in Italy, Germany, and it’s in the top 3 among multiple markets that it launched, including Mexico, and we’re excited because it really means we’re formats and creative take over intellectual property and help reinforce this with creators around the world, ”explains Erika.
The global pandemic has also affected our viewing habits with the closure of cinemas. “I think 2021 and 2020 told us a lot,” says Erika. The diffusion of windows, direct sales to consumers and the simultaneous introduction of shows created conversation around the world. She added: “Language barriers really have never broken down. There really has never been a better time, and I would say it’s no stronger than in the Asia-Pacific region. “
To secure their presence in the region, they are opening an office in Singapore and are looking for qualified applicants. Filipinos are welcome to join the Southeast Asian team in creativity, development, production and marketing.
Job opportunities include: Director, Prime Video, Southeast Asia; Senior Manager for Content Acquisition, Southeast Asia, Prime Video; Head of Social Media Team, Southeast Asia, Prime Video; Creative Director, Southeast Asia, Prime Video; and Recruiting Manager for Entertainment, Southeast Asia. Visit amazon.jobs
Erika is behind it The Lost Flowers by Alice Hart with Sigourney Weaver in Australia and the Amazon Original The masked singer in Japan.
We know Mikhail Red is working on the HBO originals Half-worlds, and Erik Matti also created the Filipino episode of HBO Asia Food science Series. These two idiosyncratic filmmakers also stream their award-winning films on Netflix.
We hope that a new local talent can soon develop their talent and conquer Amazon Studios.
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