Amazon Prime Video dreams of mainstream television


“We want to offer the best entertainment experience for all French people. » If not original, this promise from Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, general manager in France of Amazon Prime Video, the American giant’s audiovisual platform, shows the ambition of Jeff Bezos’ company. Its service is accessible – for 5.99 euros per month or 49 euros per year – to Prime subscribers, the loyalty service of its e-commerce site. Tuesday, April 12, listening to the third annual presentation of its programs, we could also find similarities with the proposal of the major flagships of French audiovisual, TF1 and M6, even France Télévisions.

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Prime Video will produce eleven original content in France in 2022, compared to eight in 2021 and two in 2020, welcomed Thomas Dubois, creative director of Amazon. These figures are certainly linked to the vote, at the end of 2020, of a law setting obligations for video services (40 million euros per year minimum for Amazon). And the leader Netflix invests much more (200 million euros per year for a target of 40 productions). But the distribution of Prime Video’s programming brings it closer to the universe of the big free channels.

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While Netflix focuses on series, films and documentaries, Prime Video also broadcasts sports and “flow” programs, where its rival has little presence: this genre represents three of the French productions in 2022, for four films, two series and two documentaries. Thereby, LOL is about to become “the most watched content since the arrival of Prime Video in France” end of 2016. This “reality show incorporates comedy stars” like Gérard Jugnot, Alexandra Lamy, Ahmed Sylla, Eric Judor or Gérard Darmon. Season 2 of Celebrity Hunted is she a “urban adventure game” opposing personalities like Florent and Laure Manaudou, Ramzy Bedia or Squeezie.

Big names in cinema

These programs are reminiscent of the adaptations by the TF1 or M6 groups of foreign formats. Celebrity Hunted incidentally premiered on British television and is produced by heavyweight Endemol Shine. Another example: Prime Video is launching “Cosmic Love” in 2022, a “dating” show presented by Nabilla, in which four single people will be presented with suitors chosen on astrological criteria.

In French series and films, Prime Video manages to attract big names in cinema and audiovisual. In 2023 will be released Greek salad by Cédric Klapisch, but also Alphonse, a romantic comedy series created by Nicolas Bedos, with Jean Dujardin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nicole Garcia and Pierre Arditi. Franck Gastambide (Taxi, Validated, Pattaya…) hopes to shoot him in Colombia Medellín, an action and comedy movie “as we have never done in France”, and inspired by the fascination for the “narcos” Pablo Escobar or Tony Montana.

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