Amazon buys MGM: What big hits will Netflix, Stan and Foxtel lose?

Posted: 27 May 2021 5:18 pm
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Amazon buys MGM F 2

What does the US$8.45 billion acquisition mean for Australian streaming – and James Bond?

Amazon is buying out movie giant MGM in a US$8.45 billion deal that will ultimately see thousands of shows shift from existing services in Australia onto Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon's deal gives it ownership of 4,000 titles, said to offer 17,000 hours of viewing pleasure and some 180 Oscars between them. It's fair to assume they will all, eventually, end up on Amazon Prime Video. However, currently, the lion's share of this catalogue is already licensed to other streaming services in Australia.

As these agreements run out, we can expect MGM content to move to Amazon Prime Video worldwide. We saw the same process with Disney+.

In recent years we've seen HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Disney+ arrive, and Paramount+ is launching this year. That has seen shows shift from existing services such as Netflix, Stan and BINGE.

So, let's dive in and see how Amazon buying MGM might impact your viewing habits.

Who loses out on Amazon's MGM purchase in Australia?

Here's where a selection of popular MGM titles are currently streaming. Many of these are on Stan, which has heavily marketed the availability of James Bond, a major MGM property.

TitleCurrently streaming onTV or filmDetails
A Star is BornNot availableFilm1 film
Basic InstinctStan, Foxtel Now, BingeFilms2 films
Ben-HurStanFilms2 films
CandymanIn developmentFilm1 film
CasablancaNot availableFilm1 film
ClariceStanTV1 season
CreedStanFilms3 films (one in production)
FargoNetflixTV4 seasons
G.I. JoeStan, NetflixFilms2 films
Hot Tub Time MachineStan, Foxtel Now, BingeFilms2 films
House of GucciIn developmentFilm1 film
James BondStanFilms26 films (one in production)
Legally BlondeStanFilms3 films (one in production)
Malcom in the MiddleNot availableTV7 seasons
MoonstruckNot availableFilm1 film
Pink PantherStanFilms11 films
PoltergeistFoxtel Now, BingeFilm1 film
Poltergeist II and RemakeStanFilms2 films
Raging BullStanFilm1 film
RespectIn developmentFilm1 film
RobocopStanFilms and TV5 films
RockyStanFilms6 films
SamaritanIn developmentFilm1 film
Shark TankNot availableTV12 seasons
Snake EyesIn developmentFilm1 film
SpaceballsNot availableFilm1 film
StargateStan, Foxtel NowFilm1 film
Stargate AtlantisStanTV5 seasons
Stargate ContinuumFoxtel NowFilm1 film
Stargate SG-1StanTV10 seasons
SurvivorTenplayTV41 seasons
Teen WolfStan, Foxtel NowFilms2 films
Teen WolfStan, Prime VideoTV6 seasons
The Addams Family (animated films)Foxtel NowFilms2 films (one in production)
The ApprenticeNot availableTV15 seasons
The Cabin the WoodsStanFilm1 film
The Handmaid's TaleStan, SBSTV4 seasons
The Hobbit TrilogyStanFilms3 films
The Magnificent Seven (Original)Amazon PrimeFilm1 film
The Princess BrideStanFilm1 film
The Silence of the LambsStan, Foxtel NowFilm1 film
The Thomas Crown AffairStanFilms2 films
The Twilight ZoneNot availableFilm and TV5 seasons (1959), 3 seasons (1985) and 1 film
The Wizard of OzNot availableFilm1 film
Tomb RaiderStanFilms4 films (one in production)
VikingsNetflixTV6 seasons
Wrath of ManIn CinemasFilm1 film
ZookeeperStanFilm1 film

The James Bond series has an intriguing distribution rights agreement. MGM owns the property, but the rights for distribution (at least in the USA) are owned by Eon Productions. As such, it's unclear how much influence Amazon will have over where it is aired in Australia. As the biggest property in MGM's catalogue, you'd have to imagine that Amazon would have demanded James Bond for its service.

Will Amazon Prime Video reboot MGM properties?

As the new owner of these famous properties, Amazon also intends to reboot or extend many of these franchises.

"The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalogue that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM's talented team," said Mike Hopkins, senior VP for Prime Video and Amazon Studios. Amazon has already taken that approach with The Lord Of The Rings, with a multi-million dollar series currently in production in New Zealand.

What is MGM Entertainment?

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, better known as MGM, was one of Hollywood's first major studios. It was founded on 17 April 1924. It was the biggest motion picture studio through to the 1950s.

However, in the 1960s the company began a slow death that took a further 60 years to unfold. It stopped being its own giant, releasing content more frequently through partners and co-producing many of its productions. Multiple buyers came and went, and there was even a period of bankruptcy in 2010.

Despite its troubles, MGM has consistently released popular and beloved movies, none bigger than the James Bond series.

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