Amazon Freevee flexes its muscles in original content

Boat Story

Amazon Freevee has come on board a new scripted series by Two Brothers Pictures, in a copro with the BBC. Entitled Boat Story, the story follows two hard-up strangers who stumble across a haul of cocaine on a shipwrecked boat. The series will premiere in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer, and in the US on Amazon Freevee. International distribution will be with All3Media International, a sister company to Two Brothers.

While it is not unusual for Amazon to join scripted series as a co-producer, the firm has placed increased focus on the role of its ad-supported service Freevee in recent times, whereas historically Amazon Prime would have been cited as co-pro partner.

Amazon Freevee has been ramping up its original content this year, as the AVOD market in the US and Europe hots up – with major players such as Netflix and Disney adding new ad-supported tiers. For months now, the overriding trend in the on-demand space has been the growth of AVOD and FAST at the expense of SVOD.

Having said this, recent weeks have seen a number of major media companies complain of a severe downturn in ad revenues – with Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav saying it is as bad now as during the pandemic. So it will be interesting to see if the explosion in AVOD-style services can survive a protracted recession.

Harry and Jack Williams, writers and Managing Directors of Two Brothers Pictures say Boat Story is “a morality tale and a thriller. It’s full of vulnerable, messed up and eccentric characters and we’ve cast some of our favourite actors to play them.”

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