Yesterday evening, Amazon, the BFI, politicians and the media came together to celebrate Amazon’s investment and support of the creative industry, including the announcements of 350 new apprenticeships and Amazon Prime Video streaming joining the BFI National Archive.
Amazon has invested more than £4.2bn in UK creative industries since 2010, and has doubled its investment since 2018. Amazon’s investments in the creative industries supported more than 16,000 jobs in 2022, ranging from directly employed in-house designers to indirectly employed external producers.
Amazon supports creators in all regions of the UK, with 50% of the direct and indirect jobs in areas outside of London and the South East according to Capital Economics analysis. The top regions for these jobs include South West (1,400), The North West (840), East of England (930), Yorkshire (660) and Scotland (670).
Speaking to Amazon VP and UK country manager John Boumphrey, he enthused about Prime Video’s The Rig, filmed entirely in Scotland at FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh. John highly recommends the series…. unless you are planning to get a job working on oil rigs in which case he says maybe not!
Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, who was at the event, cited Clarkson’s Farm for the impact it’s had in raising awareness of the state of the farming industry.
It was announced that Prime Video is being welcomed into the BFI (British Film Institute) National Archive. Popular films and series reflecting stories filmed across the UK will be digitally preserved in the BFI National Archive for generations to come.
What was most striking about the evening was the sheer range of creative industries that Amazon support. You might think it’s just Prime Video, but it includes brands with Handmade, authors with Kindle Direct Publishing, Audible, Amazon Fashion, Amazon Music, and Amazon Games to name a few.
Hull based Lisa Dobbs, founder of Wee Woolly Wonderfuls is an example of Handmade, and she tells how opening her Amazon Handmade storefront propelled her business from selling 10s of crochet kits a week to selling hundreds a day. FBA enables them to maximise their sales and as a Handmade seller she qualifies for the Amazon Small Business badge, which is displayed on all her offers and ensures she is part of all Amazon’s Small Business promotions.
The sheer breadth of creators Amazon work with is impressive to say the least, and their support runs much deeper than the apprenticeships announced with programmes supporting various segments of the creative industry, such as Handmade to support independent artisans and the annual Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award to promote self publishing authors.
The big takeaway from the event is that Amazon have a holistic view of the creative industry and Kindle Direct Publishing, and more, importantly for those selling on the platform, Fashion designers and Handmade artisans, are just as important as their film and gaming endeavours.
To continue to develop the creative talent of the future, Amazon announced support for more than 100 new apprenticeships in organisations across the creative industries, doubling its creative industries apprenticeship levy funding to £2m. This funds apprenticeships across the sector including the BRIT Trust and the Association for Independent Music and Women in CTRL; a Screen Skills flexible apprenticeship pilot to support both Amazon Original productions such as The Devil’s Hour and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power as well as funding apprentices on non-Amazon productions including Channel 4’s Derry Girls.
Prime Video today also announced the second phase of Prime Video Pathway, an initiative designed to open up access to jobs in TV and film, which will support 250 additional trainees over the coming years. Developed in collaboration with the UK’s leading TV and film institutions, including the National Film & Television School (NFTS), Prime Video Pathway will be providing opportunities for a further 25 craft trainees, increasing its reach outside London, providing 50% of placements across Scotland and for the first time, Wales.
The UK has long been a creative powerhouse, brimming with some of the world’s most talented authors, musicians, actors, designers, technicians and more. Amazon is unique in the breadth of creative industries we support, from TV and music, to fashion and publishing, and new data shows that our investments in these industries have contributed more than £4.8bn to the UK economy since 2010. We are committed to supporting this vital sector, and we have more than doubled our investments in UK-based productions, skills programmes, production facilities, and more to power the UK’s creative sector today, and support the creators of tomorrow.– John Boumphrey, VP and UK country manager Amazon
Amazon has embraced the huge depth of creativity and technical expertise in the UK. Its continued investment is testament to what we offer in film, music, fashion, tech and publishing. Many of its ambitions align closely with our own plans for the creative sectors and we are going to build on Britain’s status as a world-class creative nation and maximise their potential to unleash economic growth and create jobs.– Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee
Since the 1950s, one of our Royal Charter objectives has been to preserve television alongside film. It’s really important that the nation’s film, television and the moving image heritage is fully representative of the work being created today, so that we can tell the story of our screen culture to audiences in the future. Given their continued investment in UK storytelling across film and television, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Prime Video to the BFI National Archive and recognise their considerable economic and cultural impact.– Ben Roberts, Chief Executive, BFI