Amazon made its name selling music, films, and books in hard copy and electronic form. Its latest venture is to revolutionise the film-production world.
The online retail giant has announced the launch of Amazon Studios, a website that invites screenwriters to upload scripts and directors to showcase prospective scenes from movies they hope to make. A panel of experts then judge the quality of the work and distribute monthly cash prizes to successful projects. Warner Bros has first access to the best work.
Roy Price, Amazon's director of product development, said: "If you look at ideas in the aggregate, that can tell you something significant."
Two scripts a month will receive $20,000 (£12,500); with one movie each month receiving $100,000.
Participants are allowed to submit their own rewrites of scripts already posted. The rewrites are judged separately, with the public invited to comment on and rate submissions.
"We may become the world's biggest employer of story analysts," Mr Price said, noting that Amazon's goal was to develop "full-budget theatrical films".
The project is partly inspired by the open-source software movement.