Amazon announced today that it will begin distributing comedy and children’s programming directly to the consumer through their video streaming service, Amazon Instant Video. Amazon joining Netflix in the programming business is another step towards the content creation paradigm shift. Standard television ratings are plummeting, as people are looking for new ways to consume media. Amazon’s hook is they are opening up submissions to anyone with a five-page treatment and a pilot script, which is everyone under 35 at this point. Once a month, they will choose a project and option it for $55,000, which a contact in the television industry explained, is about what cable networks offer. And that’s the thing; they’re pushing to become a legit competitor to the major networks, especially long term. If Amazon or a Netflix gets their Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Louie, something that can actually penetrate popular culture for not that high of a production cost, then things will change very quickly. Amazon is accepting proposal at http://studios.amazon.com so put the finishing touches on that workplace sitcom about four friends working, and loving, at Amazon.com or maybe one about a family who moves to a hut in the Amazon – either will be titled The United States of Amazon (Execs love seeing their own stories told).