If the online streaming service war between Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Disney Plus hadn't been bloody enough over the last 18 months, then it's about to get even more so, as it has been confirmed that Amazon is buying James Bond studio MGM.
The acquisition, which will set Amazon back a princely $8.45 billion, will see the classic movie studio MGM, which was founded back in 1924, fall under Amazon's control and be partnered up with Amazon Studios, with the former focussed on films and the latter more on TV shows.
The most famous property that MGM has in its portfolio is James Bond, and it seems inevitable that subscribers to Amazon Prime Video are about to get access to every James Bond film ever made thanks to this deal. However, MGM currently has more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows in its portfolio of content, too.
Speaking on the deal, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios Mike Hopkins stated that:
"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. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling."
The news of the deal, which comes from Variety (opens in new tab), will be sobering news for Disney Plus and Netflix, as overnight it looks like Amazon Prime Video is going to be taken an outrageous new level in terms of content library and value for its subscribers. Amazon could literally be about to inject Prime Video with over 20,000 pieces of content from MGM, as well as have the freedom to create original content with those IPs.
Those IPs include, but are in no way limited to: Rocky, Creed, Basic Instinct, Legally Blonde, Poltergeist, Robocop, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Tomb Raider, Fargo, Vikings, The Handmaid's Tale and, naturally, James Bond.
And when that happens that will have a huge impact on the state of the streaming wars. I think it is fair to say that out of the big three streaming services, so Disney Plus, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it was Amazon's service that had the least impressive content offering – and certainly the least impressive depth.
With this deal though Amazon will almost immediately address that issue and fence off incredibly popular IPs for its own streaming service.
And, well, for James Bond fans especially, that is going to make the decision not to subscribe to Amazon Prime Video incredibly hard, as well as dramatically enhance the streaming service's offering across the board. MGM's portfolio combined with that of Amazon Studios, which have helped bring original hits like The Boys to the streaming service, sounds like a potent mix.
And with Disney Plus already sitting on multiple studios of its own, which have just been augmented by the plugging in of the entire Star catalogue of content, and deliver a raft of quality original content such as The Mandalorian, Loki, WandaVision and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the ball now seems very firmly bounced back into Netflix's court.
Hopefully the next season of The Witcher and Stranger Things will be just the beginning of new original Netflix content. And maybe this is why Netflix is also so interested in broadening its offering to include more interactive entertainment, too.
When MGM content like James Bond will arrive on Amazon Prime Video is right now uncertain. However, what is certain is that this deal is great news for the average streaming service subscriber, as it seems destined to increase competitiveness of content on Amazon Prime Video as well as Disney Plus and Netflix in order to stay top dogs.