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Jeff Bezos

Top Amazon exec Morgan Wandell jumps over to Apple Video

Why it matters to you

Apple is entering the realm of streaming original series, which could lead developers to increase quality of programming to compete. Morgan Wandell, a top executive at Amazon since 2013, has been lured away by Apple as part of its bid to increase scripted programming[1] in the streaming market. With Apple ready to drop as much as £1 billion[2] to develop original programming, according to Business Insider, they hope to become a major player in the industry.

Wandell arrived at Amazon from ABC Studios, and he has an impressive resume[3]. He helped develop such series as The Man in the High Castle[4], Jack Ryan, Sneaky Pete, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

While at ABC, he worked on such TV series as Gray’s Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Whisperer. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Wandell joins a team[5] that includes co-heads of video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who were recently poached from Sony Pictures Television Apple’s first few attempts at original programming, such as Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps[6], were underwhelming, to put it mildly.

It recently scrapped plans for an Elvis Presley miniseries produced by the Weinstein Company, amid the fallout from sexual harassment allegations. New moves at the executive level, however, indicate that Apple wants to position itself as a serious contender in streaming original series as part of an effort to make Apple Video a destination for documentaries and shows. According to the Wall Street Journal, they’ve partnered with Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin Studios[7] for a reboot of the anthology series Amazing Stories.

Although the hire has been in the works for months, it’s still a blow to Amazon, who Jeff Bezos wants to come up with “the next Game of Thrones[8].” Other tech companies want a piece of the pie as well — Facebook may be dropping a wad of cash[9] to develop its own scripted series. For comparison, HBO spends about £2 billion per year on original programming, Amazon spends approximately £4.5 billion, and Netflix around £7 billion. Apple’s £1 billion could fund as many as 10 television shows, with Erlicht and Van Amburg overseeing a cohesive strategy that the company has lacked thus far.

Will all these new moves pay off with the next House of Cards or The Handmaid’s Tale?

We’ll have to watch and see.

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References

  1. ^ its bid to increase scripted programming (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ drop as much as £1 billion (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ he has an impressive resume (variety.com)
  4. ^ The Man in the High Castle (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ Wandell joins a team (www.hollywoodreporter.com)
  6. ^ Planet of the Apps (www.digitaltrends.com)
  7. ^ partnered with Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin Studios (www.wsj.com)
  8. ^ the next Game of Thrones (www.digitaltrends.com)
  9. ^ Facebook may be dropping a wad of cash (www.digitaltrends.com)

Watch Jeff Bezos smash champagne atop a wind turbine to launch a new wind farm

Why it matters to you

With energy demands on the increase, wind farms like this can help take care of some of this need. He founded ecommerce giant Amazon and the ambitious space company Blue Origin, and now owns the Washington Post, so if Jeff Bezos wants to bless his new wind farm by standing atop a turbine and smashing a bottle of champagne on it, that’s fine by us.

Fun day christening Amazon’s latest wind farm. #RenewableEnergy pic.twitter.com/cTxeXdsFop[1][2] — Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 19, 2017[3]

The wind farm in question[4] is in Texas and is, according to Amazon, the company’s largest renewable energy project to date.

Bezos posted a video of his bottle-smashing exploits on Twitter. The footage begins close up to the Amazon CEO before moving away to reveal the vast expanse of the wind farm. It also makes you realize just how mind-bogglingly massive one of those wind turbines actually is, or just how tiny Jeff Bezos is.

We’re guessing the former. Located in Scurry Country, Amazon’s latest wind farm includes 100 turbines capable of providing enough clean energy to power 330,000 homes. The company said these projects also help to support “hundreds of jobs and provide tens of millions of dollars of investment in local communities across the country.”

Kara Hurst, Amazon’s worldwide director of sustainability, described the company’s investment in renewable energy as a “win-win-win-win — it’s right for our customers, our communities, our business, and our planet.” The company has so far launched 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S., with 35 more under development. “These are important steps toward reaching our long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100 percent renewable energy,” Hurst said[5]. Alongside its investment in renewable energy, Amazon is also focusing on sustainability[6], evidenced by its Frustration-Free Packaging[7] program that helped to eliminate more than 55,000 tons of packaging in 2016.

Amazon’s announcement of its latest wind farm comes just a few days after[8] Greenpeace criticized it for being “one of the least transparent companies in the world in terms of its environmental performance,” claiming it refuses to report its greenhouse gas footprint, “nor does it publish any restrictions on hazardous chemicals in its devices or being used in its supply chain as other leading electronics brands provide.”

Even if Greenpeace is unimpressed by Bezos’s smashing video, hopefully it’ll at least welcome this latest renewable energy effort from the company.

Editor’s Recommendations

References

  1. ^ #RenewableEnergy (twitter.com)
  2. ^ pic.twitter.com/cTxeXdsFop (t.co)
  3. ^ October 19, 2017 (twitter.com)
  4. ^ The wind farm in question (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ said (www.businesswire.com)
  6. ^ sustainability (www.digitaltrends.com)
  7. ^ Frustration-Free Packaging (www.amazon.com)
  8. ^ a few days after (www.greenpeace.org)

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