Amazon has hired a former Sony executive for a top job overseeing video entertainment efforts, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Roy Price, a former Sony film executive, has been hired by Amazon to lead its Hollywood operations as head of worldwide television, the person said. Price is leading development on multiple series for Amazon, as well as a new comedy from comedian Amy Schumer for its Prime Video streaming service.
“We are excited to have Roy join Amazon Studios as we continue to grow our Prime Video business,” said Jay Marine, Amazon Studios vice president.
Price spent 14 years at Sony, including four as the head of worldwide TV distribution. Prior to that, he held roles at Universal Studios, Walt Disney and Miramax Pictures.
In his new role, Price will be in charge of making Amazon Prime Video the biggest free content service on television and the development of Amazon original content for its platform, which recently launched a free ad-supported version of its video platform. Amazon Studios is not looking to aggressively acquire content this year, but is looking to develop more serialized programming focused on high-quality drama and comedy.
Amazon ranks second to Netflix in total hours streamed per month. Amazon Prime Video has 18 million members worldwide.
Amazon's video-on-demand service has hit some stumbling blocks in the past, but now appears to be maturing.
Last year, The Hollywood Reporter said Amazon failed to sign up many high-profile stars for shows it did order, even though its content budget was expected to quadruple this year. It also took years to get full seasons of some shows, sources said.
In January, Amazon canceled "Great News," a comedy by creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and starring Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin. In November, Amazon canceled political comedy "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan," starring John Krasinski, a year after it was launched.
Earlier this month, Amazon axed "Transparent," starring Jeffrey Tambor, after telling stars and fans that they will have to wait another year for the show's fourth season. The company will also delay the release of the fourth season of "The Man in the High Castle."
In January, Amazon also said it delayed the second season of political drama "The Man in the High Castle," until the end of this year.