Amazon will open a globally focused development hub in London aiming to producing “the next generation of TV and film services” for digital devices.
Located in The Barbican area – near Old Street’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ start-up hub – the offices will house design and development teams from Amazon-owned VoD service LoveFilm and interactive TV specialists Pushbutton. They will work on new digital media projects that will “benefit Amazon customers all over the world.”
The eight-floor, 47,000sq ft Digital Media Development Centre will also house teams of software development engineers, user-interface experts and graphic designers.
Amazon said it is looking to make interactive services for TV, games consoles, smartphones and PCs and to develop services and application programming interfaces that will boost the digital experience on Amazon sites globally. Pushbutton CEO Paula Byrne will lead the development centre as MD.
“London is a hotbed of tech talent and testament to that fact is Amazon choosing the capital as the location for the new global digital media development centre,” said Byrne, adding that “innovation is part of the Amazon DNA.”
Amazon bought Pushbutton last July. The firm designs user interfaces for traditional and emerging TV platforms and played a key role in putting LoveFilm on devices such as Sony’s PlayStation 3 console and Bravia internet-connected TVs.
Speaking at MipTV earlier this year, Amazon.com VP Anthony Bay told delegates to “stay tuned” for further roll-outs of its LoveFilm subscription video service, but refused to be drawn on whether it would adopt the Amazon brand name. In the US, Amazon offers subscription VoD as part of its US$79-per-year Amazon Prime service.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said that Amazon’s decision to base “such an important facility” in the capital was a “splendid feather in our cap.”