Monday, April 18, 2022

Amazon Studios expands its TV exec headhunting in Africa to set up a Nigerian Originals team - now looking for a head of Nigerian Originals and TV and film execs for Nigeria.

by Thinus Ferreira

After advertising multiple jobs early in 2022 for TV executives in South Africa, Amazon Studios is expanding its search for TV execs in Africa to produce content from the content and is now hunting for a head of Nigerian Originals as well as movie and scripted series executives for Nigeria.

While Amazon Studios has big plans to scale up its localised TV production presence in South Africa and is ramping up plans to get a South African based TV executive team in place as it competes with the likes of streamers like MultiChoice's Showmax, Netflix, Apple TV+, as well as Disney+ launching 18 May, Amazon Studios has the same aspirations for Nigeria.

While the team for South African content creation will primarily be based in Cape Town, Amazon Studios is looking to set up its initial Nigerian originals in-house team working from London in the United Kingdom.

Amazon Studios is now looking for a head of Nigerian Originals, a senior scripted series creative executive, and a senior movies creative executive who will all have to work from London from where they will be "executing Amazon Prime Video's overall content strategy for Nigeria and Africa".

Amazon Studios is looking for execs with a "deep knowledge of the Nigerian production landscape, including talent".

Similar to the positions advertised in South Africa, Amazon Studios is clearly looking to poach well-connected and highly networked executives from existing and established broadcasters as well as traditional pay-TV players like MultiChoice in Africa, noting that the jobs are for executives with "multiple years of scripted series and TV development experience at an executive level".

The execs are all required to have a proven track record of having developed successful content in the form of series and film within Nigeria for a Nigerian audience.

Amazon Studios' head of Nigerian Originals will "have day-to-day oversight of the creation and grown of Amazon Prime Video's slate of local original content from Nigeria" with the video streamer saying the person will "leverage your hands-on development and production experience, high judgment, collaborate spirit and deep industry knowledge to bring a slate of projects to life to delight Prime Video customers everywhere".

The head of Nigerian Originals will "be joining a dynamic, hands-on and growing Amazon Studios team" the company says, and will be reporting to Ned Mitchell, Amazon Studios' head of originals for Africa.

In December 2021 Amazon Studios signed a licensing deal with Nigeria's Inkblot Studios and followed it up with a similar deal with Anthill Studios in Lagos in the West African country in January 2022 as it looks to rapidly catch up in adding African content to its streaming catalogue with primarily Netflix and Showmax that have more of a head start.