Amazon Struggles to Define Itself in Hollywood as Original Content Remains Weak
The production business has started considering more universally popular original programming, cutting back on age group-specific shows.

As Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) works to turn around its struggling Amazon Studios production arm, executives are hard-pressed to define the fledgling production house's place in a new age of television and original programming, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The day after Amazon Studios failed to win a single Primetime Emmy Award, leaders gathered the team to talk about how "things are going to get better," and discuss plans to "try and turn this ship around," an insider said.

Amazon Studios had passed on opportunities to bid for hits including "The Handmaid's Tale," and "Big Little Lies," both of which won Emmys this year. The company also failed to reach the same playing field as rivals Hulu and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) , which both won bigtime awards this season.

In response to a Hollywood reputation that's growing increasingly sour as high-profile players point out Amazon's alleged unwillingness to negotiate, Amazon Studios has pivoted away from dramas for the older set. But where exactly it's going remains unclear.

The production business has started considering more universally popular original programming, cutting back on age group-specific shows. There's also talk of new leadership amid rumors Joe Lewis, head of comedy and drama, and Roy Price, studio chief, have potential conflicts of interest.

Executives have come to recognize that their data-centric approach to programming hasn't panned out. They're now focused on finding mega-hits like Netflix's "Stranger Things" or Time Warner-owned (TWX) HBO's "Game of Thrones."

"We're increasing our investment in that type of original content," Amazon Senior VP Jeffrey Blackburn said. "It's early days and we're learning."

Amazon shares traded up 0.49% to $985.67 in early trading Friday, Oct. 6.

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