Amazon has announced plans to combine the teams of the two UK-based media companies it purchased last year, creating job opportunities in the area and opening a new international center for digital media development near Silicon Roundabout in central London, England.
The new center will be fully open within the coming weeks, with the center's new managing director Paula Byrne saying London was the obvious choice. "London is a hotbed of tech talent, and testament to that fact is Amazon choosing the capital as the location for its new global digital media development center […] innovation is part of the Amazon DNA, and we are creating a British center of excellence to design and develop the next generation of TV and film services for a wide range of digital devices."
The plan will see Pushbutton and LoveFilm move their entire design and development teams into the eight-story, 47,000sq.ft building in Glass Yard.
Amazon purchased LoveFilm, a European film subscription service with over two million members in UK, Germany and the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark and Norway back in February 2011. The company then followed up by acquiring Pushbutton, a company specializing in the design and building of user interfaces to enable viewers to select and watch digital media content across a wide range of device platforms. The design firm also worked with the media content provider to create the LoveFilm Instant streaming service, among many other projects.
Both firms will work jointly on interactive digital services for TVs, game consoles, smartphones and PCs. The new center in London will also become the main hub for the engineering team responsible for improving the retailer’s website experience around the world, the company added.
Mayor Boris Johnson was equally happy with the US retailer's move, saying it was a "splendid feather in our cap” in regards to London’s growing technology presence. “We know we have the talent, the space and infrastructure to make the most of the digital economy. Amazon's investment propels us well up the league table of global tech cities and we thank it for its vote of confidence," he added.
Amazon said its headquarters would remain in Slough, and didn’t quote the exact number of staff relocating offices, except for saying “hundreds” of LoveFilm and Pushbutton staff members would move in next week, ahead of the US firm embarking on a hiring spree.