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When Amazon enters an industry, incumbent companies usually freak out.
Whether it's pharmaceuticals, groceries, cloud computing or just
old-fashioned retail, Amazon has earned its reputation as a business
bulldozer. But when it comes to video, Amazon has so far been content with
just being a player, not the player.
I think Amazon Prime Video has spent a lot of money and has very little to
show for it today.
But that may be changing.
For years, Amazon has used video as a sweetener for people to subscribe to
Amazon Prime, the company's $119/year service.
A Prime subscription includes not just TV shows and movies, but shopping
discounts, access to music and books and, of course, free shipping on
Amazon deliveries.
At first Amazon's video strategy was to buy high-minded content, that
could win Hollywood awards.
Shows like 'Transparent' and 'Marvelous Mrs.
Maisel,' and movies like 'Manchester by the Sea' and 'The Big Sick.'
Under Roy Price, the former head of Amazon Studios, Amazon had some success
with this strategy.
'Transparent' won the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy series in
2015 and 'Manchester by the Sea' won the Academy Award for best original
screenplay in 2017.
But those hits still had relatively small audiences.
When Roy Price left Amazon in late 2017, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, decided to
replace him with Jennifer Salke, a broadcast TV veteran.
Salke changed Amazon's video strategy to look for content that appeals to
broader audiences.
This better matches up with bringing people into the Prime universe and
keeping the ones that are already there.
I think you're going to see Amazon go after big, broad content.
Obviously, the most obvious example of this is they're doing 'Lord of the
Rings,' and there's no bigger, broader opportunity and shot on goal than
doing a 'Lord of the Rings' TV show.
Amazon bought the rights to 'Lord of the Rings' in 2017 for a cool $250
million, the biggest amount ever spent on TV rights.
Amazon plans to run at least five seasons of the series and has promised a
campaign to promote the show alongside J.R.R.
Tolkien's books on Amazon.com.
Amazon now has more than 100 million Prime subscribers.
With so many credit cards already on file, it makes sense for Amazon to
shift the purpose of Prime Video to connect content with commerce.
Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon
search for merchandise.
Already today, a search for 'The Hobbit' doesn't just show you the book,
but also gives you a chance to subscribe to watch the movie on Prime
Video.
Amazon's next big splash could be sports, particularly live sports
programing. The company has already acquired some streaming rights to
Thursday Night Football and Premier League soccer games, but it's yet to
land a huge, exclusive sports rights deal.
That could change in the coming years as rights to the NFL, the NBA and
Major League Baseball come up for grabs.
Amazon looks at content creation through a very different lens than a
traditional media company.
A traditional media company is, 'well how much advertising can I generate
from this?'
Amazon, the first thing when they talked about the NFL, the number one
metric they were looking at is new to Prime.
Meaning new people that have come into the Prime ecosystem because those
are people that spend a lot more over the year than people who are not
part of the Prime ecosystem.
The major U.S.
professional sports organizations might be a little hesitant to sell their
exclusive rights to a non-traditional player like Amazon.
But connecting commerce to content could make them a lot more revenue.
This is not just about showcasing football games on Thursday night.
This is selling you a jersey.
This is potentially selling you a ticket.
There's so much more that Amazon can do than just simply stream a game.
They can probably sell advertising better than any TV network because of
the data they have and they know exactly what I like.
They know I'm a Giants fan.
The bigger battle beyond just content could be ownership of the home.
Seamlessly connecting Amazon Echo to TVs and mobile devices could
revolutionize how people find shows and movies.
Getting the 'Grand Tour' from Prime Video.
There is an all out war for the control of your media life.
Home, car, on the go.
This is war, and I think the reality is these big tech platforms, who have
valuations, and market caps and cash piles that are massive relative to
traditional media, they're just getting started.
So far, Apple and Amazon really haven't gone toe-to-toe.
But as Apple also gets into original content, that competition is coming.
There is going to be a war.
It's gonna be all of these tech platforms feasting on the challenges
facing legacy media.
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Why Amazon Is Going After Netflix

319 Folder Collection
Liang Chen published on March 17, 2019
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