E-commerce giant Amazon.com has unveiled plans to open a new digital media research and development facility in London.
The company’s ‘Digital Media Development Centre’, based in London’s Barbican, will house the design and development teams from two UK companies that Amazon.com acquired last year: digital design agency Pushbutton and online film rental service LoveFilm.
The eight-storey facility, housed in a building called The Glasshouse, will be run by Paula Byrne, who founded Pushbutton in 2002. It will house software developers and designers focused on "the creation of interactive digital services for TVs, game consoles, smartphones and PCs; the development of the digital media experience on Amazon websites around the world; and the building of services and APIs that power that digital media experience," the company said.
The new centre is not so much a new investment in London from Amazon.com, but the relocation of a UK company now that it has Amazon.com’s financial backing. Hatton Real Estate, the property developer that built The Glasshouse, announced that Pushbutton had decided to move to the facility back in March 2012.
LoveFilm’s development staff will move to the new site, but an Amazon.com spokesperson confirmed that no new jobs will be created as a result of the new centre opening.
Nevertheless, Byrne and London mayor Boris Johnson characterised the announcement as an endorsement of London’s digital media talent. "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.
"I am thrilled to welcome Amazon’s fantastic new international digital centre to London," said Johnson. "For this wildly successful and dynamic company to choose our city to site such an important facility is a splendid feather in our cap."