Amazon is in discussions to acquire the nearly century-old Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio in what would be its biggest push into entertainment yet, according to news reports.
MGM, the storied Hollywood company behind the James Bond series, would help bolster Amazon's Prime streaming service, the Information and Variety said in separate reports. Amazon is weeks into negotiations to buy the studio for about $9 billion, according to Variety.
MGM and Amazon declined to comment on the report.
Amazon currently has more than 200 million Prime members worldwide, and Jeff Bezos recently told investors that 175 million of those streamed Prime Video content in the past year. The company clearly wants to turn Prime Video into an even bigger habit for its customers worldwide — and a quick way to do that would be to stir MGM's extensive library of titles into the mix.
MGM claims to own one of the world's "deepest libraries" of premium film and TV content.
Its 4,000 film titles include the James Bond, Hobbit, Rocky/Creed, RoboCop and Pink Panther franchises, as well as movies like "The Silence of the Lambs," "The Magnificent Seven" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral." The MGM TV library includes approximately 17,000 episodes of programming, including "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," "Stargate Universe," "Vikings," "Fargo," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Get Shorty," "Condor," "Fame," "American Gladiators," "Teen Wolf" and "In the Heat of the Night." Unscripted shows in its portfolio include "The Voice," "Survivor," "Shark Tank," ""The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "The Hills."
For Amazon, media is a relatively small piece of its gargantuan empire but represents a fast-growing business segment. In 2020, the company spent $11 billion on TV shows, movies and music for Prime services — up 40% from the year prior.
For the first three months of 2021, MGM Holdings reported revenue of $403.3 million (up 27% year over year) and net income of $29.3 million (versus a net loss of $12.1 million the year prior).