It’s official Amazon has bought the MGM studios for $8.45 billion. The deal gives them access to over 4,000 classic movies including the James Bond franchise, Silence of the Lambs, Raging Bull etc. Amazon is the streaming service that has been competing with the rest of the giants like Netflix and Disney+.
The acquisition made in the final month of Jeff Bezos’s tenure as CEO is the largest to date after Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. During this occasion, Jeff Bezos said “it’s going to be a lot of fun work and people who love stories are going to be the big beneficiaries.”
But what does it exactly mean for the consumers and their favourite franchises? We dive deep to see what’s happening.
Amazon To Bring Out New Content
Earlier reports suggested that Amazon would seal the MGM deal with $9 billion. However, they negotiated the price down to $8.47 billion instead. And just like that Amazon has become a major competitor in the online streaming service.
Amazon’s earlier focus was on award-worthy flicks like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and Fleabag. However, in recent years, they’ve shifted their focus to produce more mainstream content like The Boys, Invincible etc.
In fact, it was recently revealed that it was Amazon and not Disney+ that’s giving Netflix a competition with 175 million members. Amazon Prime has more members because it gives you a lot more benefits like free 2-day shipping.
Now people may think that Amazon’s acquisition expands their library of shows and give access to the consumer to their favourite titles. However, that’s partly true. The excitement of having an old show fades rather quickly. And with new movies coming out ever so often, people don’t have the time to watch old shows.
Amazon has most likely bought the MGM for acquiring rights to the popular franchises, like Silence of the Lambs, Robocop, Tomb Raider, Pink Panther etc. Each of these franchises will be observed closely for the potential of a sequel and in a few years, we will see a re-imagining, a spin-off or a sequel to these movies.
For example, Amazon bought the rights to The Lord of The Ring Movies to develop a brand new TV series. The company is spending $465 million on just developing one season of the LOTR series.
However, the Crown Jewel of this acquisition is the James Bond franchise. Amazon probably has big plans for that, however, the creative control of the franchise remains in the hands of the producers, Barbara Brockle and Michael G. Wilson. Merely hours after the acquisition they said that the Bond movies will remain as theatrical releases only. But they didn’t say anything about TV shows.
However, such a big deal takes time to completely finish. In the meantime, the latest upcoming films like No Time To Die will release in the theatres.
The Future of Streaming Services
Binge-watching is in and shows are the future for streaming services. Original shows have been massively successful in the past and they continue to be even more so. Netflix is spending $17 billion in creating new content this year alone. It’ll also back the theatrical release for some of its movies and it’ll become more of a studio indistinguishable from these other studios.
Someone is also going to buy the 71% of the AT&T. It’ll either be Comcast with their NBC universal division or Amazon as well. CBS Viacom also has a merger coming up and is expecting someone to buy Lionsgate. In fact, Lionsgate could even get folded into Warner Media discovery.
Now, will Apple, Facebook and Google buy anything that remains to be seen. In a way, they are their own content makers. Google already has YouTube and Facebook hosts content on its platform and also on Instagram. Apple however is primarily a tech company. They compete with Amazon in the music space and movies and TVs are also a big business for them.
With an ever raging pandemic, the streaming wars are just beginning.