Amazon Wins Emmy Award For Video Recommendations

By Kelly West 2013-08-02 09:11:07 discussion comments
Amazon Wins Emmy Award For Video Recommendations image
Netflix isn't the only streaming video service with Emmy cred to boast. Granted, Netflix got the jump on Amazon in rolling out some top-notch original programming, garnering the service numerous deserved Emmy nominations this year. But Amazon has already beat Netflix to the punch in actually winning an Emmy Award*, not for original programming, obviously, but for its work on Personalized Recommendation Engines for Video Discovery. Amazon announced today that the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will be recognizing Amazon Instant Video with a 2013 Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.

(*Correction: Netflix won an Emmy Award last year for overall technical excellence.)

Amazon's spent well over a decade trying to figure out what their customers like so they can recommend other items. Their expansion into streaming video has followed suit in that regard, and it's earned Amazon some accolades from the Academy. As Amazon pointed out in their announcement, their video recommendation technology bases recommendations on customers' favorite categories and genres, what they've viewed in the past, and personalized movie and TV recommendations based on viewers' tastes and preferences as determined by their behavior at Amazon's store.

It's interesting to see an online streaming video service recognized for the strides they're taking to offer their customers a better viewing experience. I found it just as fascinating when Netflix's Ted Sarandos talked about how their subscribers' viewing habits impact Netflix's programming and marketing. It's certainly a benefit for streaming video services to have constantly-updating information to tap into in an effort to figure out what their viewers want and how to better cater to them. And in the case of Amazon, it's earned them an Emmy.

Of course, Netflix may very well be the first streaming video service to earn an Emmy Award in one of the major primetime categories for their original programming. But Amazon could give the service a run for their money in the future, as Amazon has their own original programming on the way. They put in a number of series orders for shows that will be made available through their subscription service Amazon Prime. It's exciting to see that Netflix has set the bar high enough to run with the networks and cable among the Emmy contenders this year, and as a Prime subscriber, I'm hopeful that Amazon will aim for that standard with their own programming.

In related news, earlier this week, Amazon announced that they've put a number of new children's pilots into development. Below are the details for those projects:
The five kids’ shows for Amazon Studios’ next pilot season include:

Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street is a live-action adventure show created by David Anaxagoras, a first-time writer, discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. This pilot is a look at the lives of three quirky tweens who live in a surreal world of eccentric characters and strange happenings.

Hard-Boiled Eggheads
Hard-Boiled Eggheads, created by Emmy Award-winner Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime, Jackie Chan Adventures, Men in Black: The Series, Darkwing Duck) is an animated action-comedy for children ages 6-11. The pilot features Miles and Stan, classified special agents who set out to correct the mistakes of science—monsters made of toxic waste, mutants born of lab accidents and the occasional hostile alien.

The Jo B. & G. Raff Show
Jo B. & G. Raff is an animated series created by multiple Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Josh Selig (Sesame Street, The Wonder Pets, Oobi). In this pilot, two best friends, Jo B. and G. Raff, are hosts of their very own TV show, “The Jo B. G. Raff Show” but every day, just when their show is about to start filming, Jo B. realizes that G. Raff can’t be found anywhere. This pilot helps teach preschoolers the importance of compromise and how to meet in the middle to resolve disagreements. Grid Smasher
Grid Smasher offers viewers an innovative visual style with a mix of puppetry and CGI and was created by Emmy Award nominee Dan Clark (Team Smithereen, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). In Grid Smasher, Johnico and his team of rag-tag aliens compete to win the greatest game in the universe, Smash Show.

Wishenpoof!
Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue’s Clues, Creative Galaxy, and the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Super Why!, Wishenpoof! is an animated series that helps teach the essentials of problem solving, empathy and making good choices. The pilot revolves around Bianca, who is just like any other little girl—well, almost—Bianca has “wish craft.” Bianca’s magical powers of wish craft let her make all kinds of wishes come true. This is Santomero’s second Amazon Studios pilot. Santomero’s first pilot, Creative Galaxy, is currently in production and scheduled to be available on Prime Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in early 2014.

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