Well, it’s official: Amazon has purchased legendary film company MGM for $8.45 billion. The merger was announced this morning via Amazon’s Press website after weeks of rumored talks between the two companies. It’s far and away Amazon’s largest investment in media and will bring an enormous library of movies and TV to Amazon’s Prime streaming service.
“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,” said Mike Hopkins, Senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
MGM is a bonafide media giant. The company has been around for nearly a century — it’s a staple of the film industry, in particular, having produced some of history’s most iconic movies. You don’t create The Wizard of Oz and James Bond without ascending to infamy.
Amazon’s been in the streaming media game for ten years now and has every piece in place to utilize MGM’s intellectual property to its fullest extent. With this one deal, Amazon may have just solidified its place as a forerunner in the streaming wars.
Good for her — MGM may be iconic, but it’s had a pretty rough time adjusting to the world of contemporary media. As streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu rose to power in the late 2000s, MGM found itself faltering. By 2010 the company had filed for bankruptcy.
The last ten years have generally been a struggle for MGM. The studio has managed to just stay afloat with periodic releases like new Bond films. So it came as no surprise when, last December, The Guardian reported that MGM would be up for sale with a price tag of $5 billion.
Amazon’s buyout is really a long time coming and will benefit both companies in the long run. Amazon gets the stellar MGM catalogue along with its IP; MGM gets $8.45 billion.
The new giant to beat — Amazon’s media company has also seen a mediocre few years. The tech giant had lots of hype behind it back in, say, 2015, when it earned its first major award for its original series Transparent. Prime Video consistently lags behind other major streaming services in both its interface and its library selection.
Now Amazon not only has the rights to all MGM films and television shows — it’s the owner of all that intellectual property, too. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Amazon took that IP and created tons of remakes and spin-offs.
And thus Amazon’s empire grows stronger once again. Now we watch as Prime Video goes from dusty relic to true competitor for unstoppable services like Disney+ and Netflix.