Amazon just signed an agreement to acquire Hollywood studio MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer). The $8.45 billion deal will see the almost century old filmmaker merge with Amazon Studios. Here’s what it means for film fans a regular streamers.
According to Amazon, the deal will allow the tech giant to assist in preserving MGM’s heritage and catalogue of more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows, which includes James Bond, Silence of the Lambs, Thelma and Louise, Fargo and Vikings.
Amazon says it wants to “empower MGM to continue to do what they do best: great storytelling”, while also making it easier for movie buffs to access the studio’s existing works.
MGM has won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys across its catalogue, noted Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Mike Hopkins.
“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling”.
Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, Danyaal Rashid, believes this deal could allow Amazon to improve its Prime Video offering with MGM’s familiar characters and franchises, giving it the boost it needs to keep up with heavy-hitters like Netflix and Disney Plus.
“While Amazon boasts many top-tier titles, leading originals such as Bosch and The Man in the High Castle, and has secured exclusive content such as Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Coming 2 America, it is still behind its peers in terms of content”, said Rashid.
“This never worried Amazon too much before, as Prime Video has long been seen as an addition to Prime rather than a core feature. However, the need to dominate on content in the streaming wars has come to the forefront, with the entrance of players such as Disney into the streaming market in 2019, paired with Netflix’s continued scale up of its blockbuster productions. This has forced Amazon to look externally for content.
“MGM provides a great complement to the Amazon platform. Titles such as James Bond (although this will be co-owned) and Rocky not only provide Amazon with instantly recognisable blockbuster content, but also affords the firm the opportunity to spin off characters and storylines. This would allow Amazon to effectively ‘milk’ this IP for all it’s got”.
Trusted Take – Kob Monney, TV and Audio Editor:
The deal will give MGM control over an impressive library of favourites that includes the James Bond, Rocky (and the Creed franchise) and Robocop films, as well as TV shows the retail behemoth had something of a stake in, including The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings, which means they’ll be available on the Prime Video service. But there are plenty who aren’t fans of Amazon and, given Prime Video’s focus on streaming, what ramifications will this have on cinema releases and physical media? That’s still something of an unknown and we’ll likely gain clarity on that issue in the coming months. It does show the continued push to streaming as another illustrious studio looks to become streaming-first in a similar manner to what is now 20th Century Studios.