The rumors were true. Amazon has announced the acquisition of MGM for $8.45 billion. Assuming regulators allow the deal to go through, Amazon will own MGM’s library of content which includes around 4,000 films and 17,000 hours of TV shows. MGM franchises that will soon be owned by Amazon include 12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many others. The deal isn’t just about acquiring rights to existing content because Amazon says they will “empower MGM to continue to do what they do best: great storytelling,” so, it seems like MGM will continue to release new movies and shows under Amazon’s ownership.
The cost of MGM at $8.45 billion sure seems like a lot of money until you compare it to the scale that Amazon already operates at. Amazon spent more than that, $11 billion, last year alone on acquiring movies, TV shows, and music for their streaming services. That figure was up 41% from 2019, where they spent $7.8 billion on content. If Amazon were to increase content spending by another 41% this year, which increases last year’s figure to $15.5 billion, the purchase of MGM is only around half of that theoretical content budget.
Once the acquisition of MGM is complete, it’s probably safe to assume that a lot of MGM’s library of movies and TV show episodes will become available through Amazon’s streaming services, like Prime Video and IMDb TV. I wouldn’t expect it to all become available overnight because there are probably existing agreements with other television services for that content that would need to expire before Amazon could make them exclusively available on its own services.