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Amazon Prime Video Pivots to Europe, Scaling Back in Africa and Middle East

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Amazon Prime Video is undergoing a major restructuring, with a new focus on European originals.

This means cutting back on content and staff in Africa and the Middle East. While shows from the MENA region that are already in the works will still be made, new local originals in Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa are on hold for now.

Meanwhile, the European team is being split into two: EU Established and EU Emerging. EU Established, led by Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, will focus on the major markets of the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

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EU Emerging, led by Ritchie Ordonez, will focus on growing businesses in Benelux, the Nordics and Central and Eastern Europe. It’s not yet clear if there will be layoffs in Europe as a result of this restructuring.

The company is also creating a new role: Director of EU content and programming strategy. This person will work with both US and international colleagues on the Amazon MGM Studios pipeline.

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Shifting Priorities

In a message to staff, Prime Video Europe Vice President, Barry Furlong said that the company is “carefully looking at our business to ensure we continue to prioritize our resources on what matters most to customers.” He added that the changes are designed to, “Improve the operational running of our multi-territory business and allow us to be more agile and focused.”

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This move comes as a surprise, as Prime Video had been increasing its investment in Africa and the Middle East in recent years. The company had established dedicated country teams in Nigeria and South Africa, hired new employees, and signed multi-year licensing deals.

Africa had been a particular priority, and Prime Video had even said that it wanted to “tell the stories of whole communities that have never even been able to see their stories on camera before.”

It remains to be seen how this restructuring will impact Prime Video’s business in the long run. But one thing is clear: the company is now putting its focus squarely on Europe.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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