Studio News: Amazon buying MGM? Has Stargate finally found a home?

Hello Readers,

I don’t normally post news articles pertaining to Studio news but I thought this one warranted a comment from me. So here goes.

Although most of you are busy getting vaccinated and starting to enjoy the hot weather (at least here in southern Ontario now), I thought I’d share some news that I just read today.

Amazon is buying MGM for 8.45 billion dollars!!

This news I must admit, kind of makes you feel really small in the world when the giant studios start throwing their weight around like this. I mean I’m an amateur with a near zero dollar budget on anything I do. I know how far a dollar goes. 8 billion dollars is a lot of money. I’m also told by reading various other articles that this amount was actually a steal for Amazon (ie they have a lot of cash, probably saved up from the pandemic and all the online shopping we do) I mean Amazon is the largest media and online shopping company by far and MGM owns (partially) the James bond 007 movie franchise along with a substantial amount of other titles in its catalogue to boot. That’s how big this is. Buying James Bond?

The good news is that MGM may get a boost because let’s face it, MGM has been struggling for years. I for one am glad to see MGM getting a much needed home in order to keep producing great content.

So why am I mentioning this?

For one, It means anyone who wants to watch MGM content, which Includes one of my ultimate favorite Sci-Fi series, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe will now most likely have to watch them on Amazon’s Prime service or Fire TV. That of course is still unknown at this time of where and when to watch what and whether all content that MGM owns will move to only an amazon platform, but lets face it, its mostly likely going to happen. They paid a lot of dough to do this


Personally however, Some of you know (and maybe some of you don’t) that I am huge Sci-fi fan.

This deal may mean that Stargate and any future productions has a brand new and voice with Amazon which is now the head of the MGM family now. Assuming the deal goes through of course.

The question is, Does Jeff Bezos or his executives in charge of the productions also love Stargate enough to listen to Brad Wright so that a deal can be reached to produce the next stargate show that Brad is supposedly at 5 chevron status with?

I’m hoping the answer is yes.

The Streaming issue

The next big problem for consumers I see is that I don’t subscribe to Amazon video.

And that’s one of the points of this good news bad news story in terms of the business of show business.

Studios are now fractured or owned by large companies adding vast content to their networks. Each company seems to want to have their own distribution by streaming and collect hansom subscription costs. Raising prices when they need, to offsite rising operating costs.

The problem is that most consumers do not know where to watch what when and are forced to subscribe to multiple streaming platforms at once paying an enormous amount of money for only a few shows worth of content they may enjoy. Nothing is free in this world and the studios should be paid for their work however you see the problem.

Options we currently have are: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+, HBO Max (USA only except by using a VPN in Canada apparently)

Just to name a few of the big ones.

My question is, wasn’t cable television created as a way to bundle features together to save the customer money and still get access to a large assortment of channels and programming?

The answer is yes it was. The main difference is Advertising.

All of these platforms make you pay a subscription to NOT have advertising, otherwise known as commercials. This is both a good and bad thing.

In Television, Commercials are what pays for the broadcast or rights to broadcast a show. Typically shows are shorter due to the commercials and the structure of that show is different to fit that formula. On streaming platforms shows can be any length so writers and producers don’t have to worry too much about constraints like in network television. That is a very simplistic view of the differences as there are also all sorts of regulation and agreements put in place between studios networks and television broadcasters which I won’t go into here (mainly because it’s not my area of expertise). However all of this affects the viewer experience.

With all of these streaming companies operating, home users are forced to choose between streaming platforms and paying monthly fees which are in effect more money than we have ever paid for content in a monthly bill. We do have choices but we in effect get less for our money. We also have to choose which network or studio we want to subscribe to and then pay a large cost per month for each of them. Not to mention trying to find services that stream in all available countries without jumping through hoops. Digital Streaming has changed viewership and access to that viewership.

Although there is choice, Some of us that like only a handful of shows to watch find ourselves with subscriptions that don’t make sense to the content were being served on those platforms but still having to pay monthly fees. With more studios going to online streaming pay gateways, access to films or shows that match the consumers choices is actually decreasing due to the fracturing of the content and that is a problem the studios will have to address.

Perhaps in the future a Film and Television Common streaming platform will emerge that holds relevant contracts for each studio and network for a limited time to bring that content to its viewers. This is sort of what Netflix and amazon do now through AI. I for one think that they are ahead of the game on this because ultimately if consumers can’t be matched with the content they like, they will cancel their subscriptions.

It’s just interesting to see this streaming shift with all of its Pros and Cons in place and how content still is king in terms of gaining viewership. That is an important thing and good news for my fellow writers to remember. There is no shortage of the need for great unique content out there.

I just hope the division that currently exists, will become a temporary situation. The results are that consumers will just stop paying attention to entertainment all together if they can’t easily access it for what they want. There needs to be a balance. Will the streaming platforms come full circle into a more commercial free network based model eventually again or will we continue on with giant companies buying all the smaller companies until there are only a couple? Only time will tell.

Keep Creating!


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