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February 19, 2013

Amazon Sees a Shakeup at the Top for Digital Streaming Division

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Amazon is losing two top video execs, including Anthony Bay, global head of the company's digital video division.  

According to an unnamed source speaking to the Wrap, Bay’s last day is March 1. His departure joins that of Jim Buckle, chief at Amazon’s European streaming division, LOVEFiLM. He will go on to be CFO of cycling-focused e-tailer Wiggle.

The personnel shakeup comes as a bit of a surprise given Amazon’s recent successes on the digital streaming front: that’s an area it has been consistently ramping up via its Prime Instant Video service in the United States in particular, which now boasts 30,000 titles. In the space of a year, it has doubled the content available for streaming via Prime and its full Amazon Instant Video service.

"Our customers tell us they want the convenience of being able to watch all of their movies and TV episodes, wherever they are," Bay said at the time. "Today we're excited to extend our 'buy once, enjoy everywhere' approach to iPhone (News - Alert) and iPod touch users, giving customers the chance to enjoy more than 140,000 titles from Amazon Instant Video and more than 30,000 titles from Prime Instant Video anytime, anywhere."

Image via Shutterstock

This year it inked a deal with A+E Networks to bring content from A&E, bio, HISTORY and Lifetime to Prime, including Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Dance Moms, which will also be available for purchase through Amazon Instant Video. It also expanded a content licensing agreement to bring classic series and hit TV shows from CBS Television Distribution and Showtime Networks to Prime, including America's Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond, Jericho, The L Word, Undercover Boss and United States of Tara, among others. Those titles join library fare like Medium, The Tudors, the complete Star Trek franchise, I Love Lucy and more. And, Prime will soon become the exclusive online subscription home for PBS hit Downton Abbey.

More interestingly, Prime also just announced it will be the exclusive online subscription home for the CBS summer series Under the Dome – produced by Steven Spielberg and based on Stephen King's best-selling novel of the same name – which will give Amazon Prime members unlimited access to the TV series a mere four days after airing and will also be available for purchase and download to all Amazon customers exclusively on Amazon Instant Video.

Late last year, it got on the TV Everywhere bandwagon through its dedicated Amazon Instant Video app for iOS, which makes available more than 30,000 titles from Prime available to Prime members, including hit TV shows like American Horror Story, Downton Abbey and Fringe, as well as popular movies such as Hugo, Thor and Goodfellas.

Bay had been in his position for just over one year—he joined Amazon in October 2011 as vice president for video from MOD Systems, where he served as CEO. Before that, he worked at Loudeye, a digital music company, and served time at Apple (News - Alert) and Microsoft. No reason was given for his departure.

Buckle meanwhile had been with LOVEFiLM for almost seven years, originally joining as CFO before taking the COO position in 2011 and being promoted to the top job in 2012.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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