The big news of the day is that Amazon has purchased MGM for an eye-watering sum of $8.45 billion, after months if not years of speculation. As we’re a Netflix-orientated site, we thought we’d explore what impact, if any, this will have on Netflix. Let’s dig in.
It feels like we’ve had to do a number of these “what it means for Netflix” posts in the past few years as media has slowly transformed with more concentration put in with competing with Netflix as opposed to working with Netflix. Most recently, we talked about what the Paramount+ launch meant for Netflix, NBC’s Peacock meant and even further back, what the Fox and Disney deal meant too.
So let’s now look at what this all means for Netflix. On the competition level, it gives Prime Video, which has been competing with Netflix for a long time, lots of ammunition both in terms of library and IP to mine for future content. We’ve long advocated that Netflix should be getting some more IP under its belt and an acquisition like this achieves just that.
Below though, we’re going to talk about how it specifically impacts the Netflix library in the US and internationally.
What it means for Netflix’s Movie Library
While some MGM movies do get licensed to Netflix in the US and internationally occasionally, it’s often due to other distributors having a say.
In fact, Netflix hasn’t had a large MGM movie presence since 2015. That’s when it let its EPIX deal lapse which meant that dozens of movies would be departing alongside titles from the likes of Lionsgate too.
All of the first window MGM content has since gone to Hulu and now with Paramount.
This has also been the case with much of Netflix internationally too although it’s really on a movie-by-movie basis. In any case, we suspect we’ll slowly see any MGM content that is on Netflix around the world to slowly trickle off of Netflix for a new permanent home.
Netflix does currently carry a few Bond movies but with Amazon’s purchase, we suspect even these will depart (even though Amazon’s exact power over the James Bond IP and library is still in question).
Of course, it does mean that Netflix will unlikely ever get to bid or have access to MGM’s library again.
What it means for Netflix’s MGM TV projects
Multiple projects from MGM’s television department are still on the way to Netflix and one is available in full.
The one available is Messiah which was added to Netflix in January 2020 but sadly canceled after a single season.
The two big series in development for Netflix right now are Wednesday based on The Addams Family and a spinoff to Vikings called Vikings: Valhalla.
While Netflix is unlikely to lose access to these shows as Netflix Originals it does mean that eventually, these will probably revert over to Amazon Prime Video. It also means Vikings won’t come to Netflix in the US either.
Of course, this also means Netflix won’t get a look in on any future show either. We’ve long heard rumors of a Stargate reboot series in recent years and if that does happen, it’ll almost certainly hit Prime Video first.
So in conclusion, this ultimately doesn’t change much but does add a new dynamic to the streaming wars and puts pressure on Netflix to either make an acquisition of its own, double down on its output or look for library licenses elsewhere (although the well is drying up).