Amazon recently launched a new Amazon MGM Studios Distribution division after buying MGM for $8.5 billion last year. This will grant syndication rights of its original series to be sold to other streaming services and cable networks after an initial run on the Prime Video platform.
Previously, Amazon Originals have been mostly available exclusively on Prime Video. As the company revamps to incorporate MGM’s massive content library, changes are in the works as to distribution of content as the steaming service competes with other platforms. Chris Ottinger of MGM will be overring the new Amazon MGM Studios Distribution division. He has been with MGM for over a decade.
“What did Amazon buy when they bought MGM? Well, they definitely got a big remakes and sequels catalog of rights. They bought a finished product catalog, but they also got a big distribution business. In addition to my group, we have a domestic theatrical distribution business that was United Artists Releasing, we brought that in house. That is a business that is super important to us. And then there’s my business, which is we’re everything from PVOD (paid video on demand) and EST (electronic sell-through), airlines, even format sales. We’re in all these different segments. And looking at what we’re selling, could we be a better distributor if we had the Amazon catalog to bring through that pipeline? And the answer is certainly yes,” said Chris Ottinger.
Ottinger will be working with his team to decide which titles will be distributed to other networks, primetime slots, ad-supproted streaming services, or other options. With such an extensive catalgoue of videos, not all content will perform optimally across all available options. To maximize Amazon’s profits, the company will need to determine which of their thousands upon thousands of programs will find their ideal fit, a daunting task to be sure.