In a move to become a top player in Hollywood, Amazon said that it has struck a deal to acquire the iconic MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) movie studio for $8.5 billion.
The deal will give Amazon a movies studio with a catalog of film, and television titles to beef up its Amazon Prime streaming service.
The deal comes as companies are exploring different ways to compete against bigger companies such as Netflix and Disney, in the streaming business.
While Discovery and WarnerMedia recently announced plans to merge, smaller Hollywood companies like ViacomCBS, Fox, Lionsgate and AMC are predicted by industry insiders to be acquired within a matter of years.
Experts believe that the deal is a financial win for MGM, as the studio is valued at the end of 2020, at around $5.5 billion, including debt.
Apple and Comcast have,vat a point, looked into acquiring MGM. Comcast currently owns NBCUniversal, which is the parent company of NBC News.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a press release that Amazon plans to create new content using MGM’s stable of intellectual property.
“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,” he said. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling,” Mike Hopkins said.
Last week, Amazon said that it was creating a new global media and entertainment division, led by one of its highest-ranking executives, Jeff Blackburn.
Amazon has also allocated at least $465 million for the first season of its “Lord of the Rings” TV show, which is an unprecedented budget for a streaming series.
Despite Amazon Studios launching about a decade ago, the company has had little success developing its own hit movies or shows and has instead relied on acquisitions from other studios.
Following the MGM deal, Amazon is open to creating its own mainstream series, thanks to MGM’s library of well-known characters.