When Amazon enters industry occupant companies usually freak out. Whether its pharmaceuticals, supermarkets, cloud computing or just traditional retail business Amazon has earned its reputation as show runner but when it comes to video Amazon has so far been comfortable with just being a player, not the player. At the same time as we saw in a previous article about the streaming wars, tech giants from Apple to other companies like Hulu, all want a part in the streaming pie.
What Amazon has been doing?
On the other hand, Amazon Prime video has paid a lot of money and has very little to show for it to date, but that may be changing for times to come. Amazon has used video as a spur for people to subscribe to Amazon Prime. The company’s $119 per year service includes not just TV show 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. Basel and movies like Manchester by the sea and the big sing. 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.
Change in strategy
When Roy Price left Amazon in late 2017 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos decided to replace him with Jennifer sulky a broadcast TV veteran. Sulky changed Amazon’s video strategy to look for content that appeal to broader audiences. This better matches up with bringing people into the prime universe and keeping the ones that are already there. After this change in management, Amazon started going for broader content like Lord of the rings. Amazon bought the rights to Lord of the Rings in 2017 for 250 million dollars the biggest amount ever spent on TV rights.
Connecting content with commerce
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 the prime video to connect content with commerce. Unlike Netflix or HBO, Amazon can market its content within an Amazon search for the merchandise already. Today a search for The Hobbit doesn’t just show you the book but also give you a chance to subscribe to watch the movie on Prime video.
What’s next for Amazon?
Amazon’s next big dash could be sports particularly live sports programming. The company has already procured 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. The major US 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 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 whose fan I am. If this isn’t an advantage over the market I don’t know what is!
The real battle
Connecting Amazon echo to TVs and mobile devices could revolutionize how people find shows and movies. There is an all-round war for the control of your media life at your home, your car or on the go. The truth is these big tech platforms that have estimates and market caps and cash bulks that are 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 going to be all of these tech platforms feasting on the challenges of remodeling traditional media.