Amazon’s big MGM move will see a bunch of new hit films and TV shows join the streaming service.
The already big world of Amazon just got bigger. In their continued attempt for world domination, Amazon has confirmed their latest baller-move… buying MGM.
The Amazon MGM deal will set the online giants back a sweet $8.45 billion ($10.9 billion AUD), giving them access to a vault of big hitting films and TV shows. These include favourites such as Rocky, Legally Blonde, The Handmaid’s Tail, Creed and No Time to Die. That’s right, Jeff Bezos now owns the entire James Bond back catalogue.
Setting industry tongues wagging, the MGM studios deal boosts Amazon’s TV and film library, giving fans even greater incentive to join the legion of Amazon ‘Primates’.
But what does this takeover mean for the future of streaming? Let’s take a closer look.
Back to the Future
Remember the day when you could pop down to your movie rental store and had about five VHS options to choose from? Simpler times.
That all ended when consumer digital technology took off, just a decade ago. Today there’s a host of streaming options from Netflix to Disney+, Stan and Apple TV, with content instantly available at a click, swipe, or press of a button.
Streaming is big business, as illustrated by the 200 million subscribers willing to pay Amazon Prime costs globally. But it’s also competitive, forcing Amazon to keep up.
Yet, despite Amazon already having its own studio, which churns out new content for Prime video, it has not enjoyed (with the odd exception), the success that many of its rivals have. And therein lies the Amazon gap, plugged by MGM.
MGM’s haul of world-class content will be inherited by Amazon, as the online giant fights to keep up with studios such as; Disney+ and Paramount+, and brands like Netflix and their growing original content. And what better way to bolster their presence, than with a major merger.
This will bring greater choice for viewers in terms of existing content as well as potentially new spin-offs and shows for some of its existing intellectual property.
Offering a hint of what’s in store, Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said: “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of [intellectual property] in the deep catalogue that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team…”
As many of the big streaming names continue to invest in new content and series, there’s no denying that it can take years to develop a cult-like following. And with the lockdown trend of bingeing content, it’s no surprise that the Amazon MGM movies will help pad out Amazon’s offering with an additional 4,000 movies and 17,000 binge-worthy TV shows added to its slate.
That’s not all. With many franchise-worthy brands from Marvel to Bond within its portfolio, there’s speculation around how these shows and films will be ‘reimagined’ as well as how new ones will be introduced and launched. Considering the legacy protection around Bond, and its commitment to ‘theatrical releases’ in the future, it’s not without its challenges. Industry insiders speculate that more frequent red-carpet rolls outs could be seen – say every other year, compared to the slower drip-feed of movies that we currently enjoy in the Bond legacy.
MGM Studios has long been the centre of attention for ambitious takeovers over the past years, which the Amazon deal draws a line under. However, much remains work in progress as the acquisition continues to be bottomed-out, as we understand what this fully means. For instance, will MGM remain its own label or come under Amazon Studios, and what shows will be given a reboot?
Either way the $8 billion investment might just be a solution for Amazon, who has long struggled in the unscripted arena, and faced fierce competition in recent years – even in just the short term.
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