I like books.
I buy a lot of books
I used to go down to Borders to buy my books, which was, frankly, a pain.
They had limited shelf space; they often didn't have what I wanted.
Then, along came Amazon.
With a click or two I could order pretty much any book I wanted and it appeared at my home a few days later.
Buying books on Amazon became a regular event - almost instinctive. See something I thought was interesting and click, it was done.
Then, Borders went out of business.
I barely noticed.
Now, Amazon is moving into the TV business.
Soon, I expect, NBC will go out of business.
By then, I will probably barely notice that either.
Yesterday, Amazon Studios announced a competition for new scripts for movies and TV shows.
The best ideas will be distributed through Amazon Instant video, the retailer’s competitor service to the likes of Netflix and Hulu.
Amazon will reportedly invest $10,000 (£6,181) in one new idea a month, held by competition online and will pay $55,000 (£34,000) plus up to 5% in royalties to any proposals it chooses to develop that become full blown series.
As someone who has spent years 'pitching' concepts to TV networks, I find this refreshing and very interseting.
Amazon is taking the concept of crowdsourcing to TV production.
I am sure it is going to work.
Why should the viewing public be limited to a few tired and stale ideas (mostly retreads of what is already on TV) of a handful of 1958 model TV production companies in NY and LA?
Why should the viewing public be beholden to the personal whims of a few network executives?
When the only way to get content into your home was on cable, and the only way to get on cable was to be Discovery or CNN, they might have had a case, or at last a barrier to entry.
The world of alternative viewing choices has been around since Netflix and Hulu went online - but that was choices of 'how' to watch what the 'studios' produced.
Now, there's going to be a much wider range of choices in terms of what the 'shows' are, - and with everyone having a production studio in their pocket (iPhone), we're going to see an explosion of new, interesting and diverse content. Finally.
So thanks Amazon.
* thanks to Pat Younge for turning me on to this one...