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James Farrell will take the lead in Amazon’s growing push for more content abroad. The executive has been named head of international originals at Amazon Studios.
The new role, an expansion of his previous gig as head of content, original expansion, will put him atop original teams in Japan, India, Europe, Mexico, Brazil and future locales — ones that are said to be many, as the streaming wing of the online retailer looks to further expand its reach in competition with Netflix.
“We’ve had significant success in this area to date and, by streamlining our international originals team under one creative leader, we can strategically carry out our ambitious global vision and ensure our future growth,” said Jennifer Salke, Amazon Studios head, who Farrell will now report to. “Breakout ideas can come from creators all over the world and, by ramping up global production and making Amazon Studios the home for creators worldwide, the possibilities are endless in terms of what we can bring our Prime Video audience.”
The importance of international programming is considered to be key in the growth of all streamers. Netflix has already been particularly aggressive in the space. Farrell’s role is a new one, and it reflects Amazon’s desire to assert itself as a leader in global content.
“The opportunity around the world to find top quality original content and deliver it to Amazon’s global customer base is absolutely huge,” he said. “Our goal is to search out the most unique voices throughout the world and then move quickly to help bring their visions to life. We’re committed to finding the best stories, no matter their country of origin, and will be casting a wide net and moving very fast in the months and years ahead. There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking with creators in their offices and homes around the world, and it’s very exciting to be taking on this new role at Amazon Studios.”
Worldwide content licensing VP Brad Beale will continue to oversee acquisitions of global properties, both film and television.
Current Amazon international originals include Breathe and Inside Edge in India, Documental in Japan, Extrano Enemigo in Mexico and You Are Wanted in Germany.
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