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Amazon buys MGM’s library to bolster its streaming services

Little by little, consumers are paying more for these services

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Photo (c) BackyardProduction - Getty Images
In the race to have the largest library of streaming content on the planet, Amazon has just pulled into the lead by buying Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM) immense library of over 4,000 beloved films and 17,000 TV shows. 

With the stroke of a pen on a check for $8.45 billion, Amazon now owns movie classics like12 Angry Men and The Pink Panther, favorites like Rocky and Silence of the Lambs, the rights to upcoming films like House of Gucci starring Lady Gaga and the new James Bond flick “No Time to Die”, and TV series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo.

“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,” said Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. 

Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM called it a historic day, adding that the “opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”

Streaming gets more expensive

The unexpected COVID-19 outbreak that forced people to stay at home was a boon to streaming services. As people grew fond of all they found on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and other platforms, entertainment moguls figured that consumers wanted more.

There’s certainly lots of money to be had in streaming services. A recent study from ResearchNester predicts that global video streaming revenue will grow from 17.5 billion in 2020 to nearly 55 billion by 2028.

And where does that revenue come from? The consumer. After adding 26 million new subscribers worldwide in the first half of the 2020 pandemic, Netflix decided that if it raised its prices a dollar or two a month, that would make its bottom line even fatter. 

On Thursday, the company raised the prices of its standard and premium plans to $13.99 (from $12.99) and $17.99 (from $15.99) per month, about the same jump in price it took in 2019. Hulu also tweaked its prices in late 2020, increasing the cost of its live streaming option from $54.99 to $64.99 per month. Google’s YouTubeTV also raised its rates from $50 per month to $65.95 per month last July. 

Maybe it’s time for an audit of all your streaming services. “These rate increases can add up over time without you noticing, as all of them rely on ‘evergreen’ automatic payments and yearly renewals via your credit card. That means if you want to cancel, you have to go out of your way to opt out of renewal,” said Lifehacker’s Mike Winters.

“The danger comes in the fact that it’s easy to overlook these increases over time, which can be substantial—just look at Hulu’s live TV plan, which has gone up by $25 per month over the last few years. That’s a lot of money if you aren’t paying attention to what you’re being charged.”

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