Amazon posts 14 pilot TV shows online for free


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The Independent Culture

The world's largest internet retailer Amazon has taken a leap into broadcasting and has posted 14 pilot television shows online for users to watch for free.

The company's production arm has been filming pilots in recent months for comedy and kids TV shows such as Alpha House, Betas and Teeny Tiny Dogs.

The company posted them all on the Amazon Instant Video section of its website to get feedback on which shows viewers like best. The pilots can also be watched on Amazon Instant Video apps through other web-connected devices like Roku, Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Wii.

Amazon is hoping people will sign up to pay $79 a year for an Amazon Prime membership, a free shipping, online video and e-book borrowing service that will include access to the full series on the Web, connected TVs and mobile devices when they're completed.

Based on viewers' reactions and reviews, the Amazon Studios production company will decide which projects to make into full TV series to be shown on Prime Instant Video, Amazon's subscription-based online video service.

Amazon and other technology companies are trying to transform Hollywood by delivering TV shows and movies over the Internet, rather than through traditional channels such as cable and satellite services.

Like Netflix, Amazon has decided that it must move beyond being a distributor of others' shows to producing quality programming of its own.