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Why the creator of 'The Walking Dead' brought his new TV production company to Amazon

  • Amazon allows entertainment companies like Skybound to expand past TV and movies into other sectors like retail and publishing.
  • Skybound, which was co-founded by "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman, signed a first-look deal with Amazon in August to give it rights to upcoming projects.

Robert Kirkman
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Robert Kirkman

In August, production company Skybound signed a first-look production agreement with Amazon. The company was co-founded by Robert Kirkman, who is behind top TV shows like AMC's "The Walking Dead" and Cinemax's "Outcast," and the deal ensures that his future shows will go to Amazon first.

Why'd he make the move? According to Skybound managing partner Jon Goldman, it's because Amazon has all the pieces in place to help TV shows expand beyond television and become entire franchises, something its competitors such as Netflix aren't as adept at doing.

"There are more aspects to IP (intellectual property) than just the TV show," Goldman said to CNBC.

For example, a franchise such as "The Walking Dead" isn't just a TV show, but can come with merchandise, video games and comic books, he explained. With Amazon's retail business built in and its close relationship with the gaming community through Twitch, it was a cultural fit and allowed Skybound to expand its own properties.

"We don't view a TV show as the tip of the spear and everything follows," Goldman said. "We consider everything primary."