Amazon to reimagine, develop MGM titles: Jeff Bezos

In the process it will take risks; the focus being on RoI.


KOLKATA: It is a mega $8.45 billion deal that has helped Amazon build a bond with that awesome fictional British secret service agent James Bond. Eyebrows were raised, questioning the size of the amount that is being coughed up to acquire the famed Hollywood studio MGM. Outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos is, however, not letting these doubters perturb him; he is excited by the prospects of the deal.

While speaking at the company’s annual general meeting Bezos once again explained that the decision was driven by MGM’s rich and deep catalogue, but even more exciting is the manner in which Amazon is looking at reimagining and developing the  IPs the studio has under its fold.

Bezos pointed out that the acquisition theory is “very simple.” The studio has a vast, deep catalogue of much-loved intellectual property, he reminded. It’s also a win for people who love stories, he added.

He highlighted that MGM’s library of more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows, including iconic titles like James Bond, Thelma and Louise, Raging Bull, Robocop and Tomb Raider, The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings, is very much coveted and valuable.

“The only way to get above-average returns is to take risks and many won’t pay off. Our whole history as a company is about taking risks, many of which have failed and many of which will fail,” he elaborated.

On Wednesday evening, the announcement finally came in that the e-commerce giant had decided to acquire the studio. “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IPs in the deep catalogue that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” Amazon Studios & Prime Video SVP Mike Hopkins said at the time of the announcement.

Amazon has 200 million Prime members worldwide with access to its video service. Prime members who watch video have higher free trial conversion rates, higher renewal rates, and higher overall engagement.

 The company has been ramping up its spend on content, even on live sports, to stay competitive with the fare being churned out by  Netflix and  Disney and now with the merged Discovery+Warner Media juggernaut.

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