Amazon to Acquire MGM for $8.45 Billion

Posted on May 26, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon with 29 Comments

Amazon announced this morning that it will acquire the MGM for $8.45 billion, significantly enhancing its online content strategy.

“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films [and] 17,000 TV shows that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” Amazon senior vice president Mike Hopkins said. “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. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”

Based on that quote, it’s reasonable to assume that Amazon will pursue a Disney+-like strategy with MGM in which it repurposes famous movie and TV show properties with new and rebooted movies and TV shows, many that it will make available exclusively via Amazon Prime Video.

And MGM does own a lot of valuable intellectual property: In addition to the James Bond series, it owns Creed, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, The Pink Panther, and a lot of other content.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Amazon to Acquire MGM for $8.45 Billion”

  1. harmjr

    Hoping for some more Stargate.

    • Omega Ra

      Agreed! Maybe Stargate Universe will come back lol

      • Rainer Fuchs

        Yeah, the first season left a lot to be desired but then they turned it around in season 2. Too bad there are no second chances in the world of TV shows.

    • bkkcanuck

      In my own mind, I am trying to figure out what 'series' could fit in without a reboot. (i.e. they were up to 4 galaxies) and pretty already defeated 'real gods' in comparison to us (and already up to 9 chevrons). I am starving for more scifi though.

    • Gerard Samuel

      Yes, more Stargate!!!

  2. glenn8878

    This was what Apple needs to do. Who will buy Paramount/CBS? It needs white knight to rescue itself from poor decisions.

    Prime Video has gotten a lot better, but it needs more content.

    • toukale

      Why do you want Apple or any big corp. to get involved here. This is the problem with the world, we want those companies to get bigger only to turn around and complaint they are monopolies or too big. We can't have it both ways, I see those comments all the time and I keep asking myself why do people want big companies to do such things?

  3. ponsaelius

    I think it's a good deal for Amazon and consumers. Netflix used to have everything but Amazon Prime Video has a good range of content. Makes Prime membership more than just next day delivery.

    Right now, I have Amazon and Disney+. I like Science Fiction and I am an old comic book fan. I got a free year of Apple TV. Apple has some good worthy content but it's not there yet.

  4. christophercollins

    I'm actually glad about this one.

    I think a lot of families get Prime for delivery, but never quite realize how many things are on the video service that comes with it.

    I watch Prime Video very frequently.

  5. jgraebner

    One thing to note about this deal is that MGM doesn't actually own most of the MGM movie catalog. In the mid-80s, they sold the MGM catalog up to that date to Turner Entertainment, which was eventually purchased by Time-Warner. That means Warner owns big MGM titles like The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Singin' in the Rain (and all the other classic MGM musicals), etc. Essentially anything that MGM made prior to 1986 is now owned by Warner Bros.

    MGM had previously merged with United Artists and the UA library wasn't included with the sale to Turner. That is why MGM still owns James Bond, Rocky, and the Pink Panther. MGM also later purchased the Orion Pictures library, which gave them ownership of films such as "Platoon", "Silence of the Lambs", and "Dances with Wolves". Of course, they also still own anything that was produced under the MGM name after the Turner sale. As a result, they have a pretty solid library, just not quite as impressive as the MGM name implies.

    • bkkcanuck

      The question is how to monetize the library in a post COVID world... If they cannot monetize things like James Bond except for major movies every 3 years or so - then I would think divesting that at this point (probably get a decent price for it to cover lost future earnings) now... and something that has one video released every 3 years does not make a good fit for something that will become a streaming first platform (won't be many movie theatres other than the fewer for 'big' releases).

  6. MutualCore

    Wow, putting all MGM content behind the Prime paywall is a huge deal for Amazon! I wonder how long it will take to recoup that $8.5 billion in new Prime memberships? They'd need 71 million new memberships!

    • samp

      Or just under half of their currant members renewing subscription's

    • richfrantz

      Too many licensing deals to do that. Not quickly anyway.

    • Chris_Kez

      I'm sure they will develop some new Prime exclusives, and bring a lot of the catalog to Prime as existing deals expire but there is no way it is all going behind a Prime paywall. The next James Bond movie alone will bring in >$500MM from the theatrical release; there's no way they're giving that up.

      • MutualCore

        Amazon doesn't have a good track record with expanding beyond their core 2 businesses.

  7. sherlockholmes

    alexa, where is blofeld?

  8. Travis

    And I literally just canceled my prime membership after 9 years. I rarely use their video service but this may entice me back at some point if they offer a cheaper option for just video without the shipping perk.

  9. crunchyfrog

    There's nothing like buying your way to the top, eh?

  10. seattlemike

    Sad. More consolidation of larger companies. In the future, we will have fewer and fewer companies owning more and more services.

  11. nischi

    Wishing for more Stargate!

  12. dmarcme

    I just wish Amazon would improve their interface. I have Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Prime, and I feel that the Amazon interface is the worst of the four.

  13. pecosbob04

    I wonder if Jeff will gives outrages out takes from The / Celebrity Apprentice?

  14. bschnatt

    I couldn't care less about the James Bond crap. I want more Stargate (especially a proper ending for Stargate Universe)!

  15. davidlb

    Hopefully they will make ALL of MGM's library available through Movies Anywhere now.

  16. angusmatheson

    How can your forget the jewel in the MGM crown - Strange Brew. (Sorry the link is acting weird)

  17. Chris_Kez

    Curious to see whether the Broccoli family, which oversees the Bond franchise and has veto power, will approve things like tv spin-off’s or day and date over the top releases. They have been unwilling so far to do anything like that.

  18. Kendog52361

    I'm wondering (and kinda hoping) that, since Amazon is a "member" of Movies Anywhere, this might finally bring MGM Movies to Movies Anywhere.

    I'm still waiting/hoping that MA will finally bring out a TV Counterpart to Movies Anywhere. I'm hoping it would be similar to Ultraviolet, in that it's all "one service", just movies and tv, instead of two, separate online services.