Amazon.com Inc said that it is buying MGM, the fabled U.S. movie studio home to the James Bond franchise, for $8.45 billion. This gives it a huge library of films and TV shows and ramping up competition with streaming rivals led by Netflix and Disney+.
Privately-held MGM, or Metro Goldwyn Mayer, was founded in 1924. This owns the Epix cable channel and makes popular TV shows including Fargo, Vikings and Shark Tank. Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios said that the real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalogue that they had planned to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. High-quality storytelling can gain so many opportunities through this.
There is a long list of competitors for Amazon’s Prime video such as Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co’s Disney+, HBO Max and Apple Inc’s Apple TV+. These companies are increasing their spending and expanding in international markets. They are aiming to capture the pandemic-led shift to binge-watching shows online.
The proliferating streaming services are also scrambling for brand. They can expand with libraries of older shows and movies. Analysts have said that this is a big motivation for another round of consolidation of media properties. This serves as a brief hiatus during the pandemic. AT&T Inc has announced a $43-billion deal last week to spin out its Warner Media business and combine it with Discovery Inc. After Whole Foods Market, this is the Amazon’s second biggest acquisition. It was bought for $13.7 billion in 2017.
The price is about 37 times MGM’s 2021 estimated EBITDA which represents a lofty premium relative to other deals. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO said that when they win a Golden Globe, it helps them to sell more shoes. This was stated by him in order to refer to Amazon’s diverse business divisions. Amazon posted its fourth consecutive record quarterly profit in this April. It had also boasted more than 200 million Prime loyalty subscribers.