Amazon Studio has hired former Chernin Group and Otter Media executive Matthew L. Ball as its new head of strategy, Variety has learned. In this newly-created role, Ball is going to define the strategy for Amazon Prime Video’s originals as well as the service’s licensed content and work on overall usage growth.
Ball joins Amazon from the Chernin Group, where he worked on strategy and business development. He was also deeply involved in Otter Media, Chernin’s online video joint venture with AT&T, which is the umbrella for Fullscreen and Ellation, home of Crunchyroll and the soon-to-be-launched millennial video bundle VRV.
Before his tenure at the Chernin Group, Ball was an executive at Accenture, with a focus on media and entertainment. In addition to his day jobs, Ball has also been a curator of REDEF Originals, the long-form web publishing offshoot of Jason Hirshhorn’s widely-read REDEF newsletters.
At Amazon, Ball is going to report to Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng and Amazon Studios Head Roy Price.
The hire comes at a time when Amazon Studios is increasingly turning to feature-length films, in addition to TV shows, to build its roster of original and exclusively licensed content. Amazon recently bought the domestic rights to “The Dressmaker featuring Kate Winslet, and the studio was a show of force in Cannes with Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” and his Iggy Pop documentary “Gimme Danger” and Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden.”