Amazon Spent Almost $19 Billion on Content in 2023





While other media companies cinched their purse strings, Amazon shelled out a lot of money on content in 2023.

According to a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Amazon spent a whopping $18.9 billion on video and music in 2023 — a 14% increase from the $16.6 billion it spent in 2022. The expenses also included licensing and production costs from content available to Amazon Prime subscribers as well as costs associated with digital subscriptions and sold or rented content.

This comes after Amazon reported a profit of $10.62 billion — up from $278 million a year ago — during its fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday. The company’s success was driven by strong sales during the holiday season and growth in its cloud services business, known as AWS.

Those businesses are able to provide support to Prime Video and its other streaming efforts like Freevee. The video business doesn’t yet make money, but executives said they see it eventually contributing to revenue and profit. The company has taken effort to draw in new audiences with its NFL Thursday Night Football deal, and this week began running ads on Prime Video, with customers needing to pay $2.99 a month to opt out.

Amazon’s increased spending happened while the entertainment industry as a whole struggled through an obstacle-ridden year.

For almost the entire latter half of 2023, Hollywood actors and writers were on strike which brought production on multiple movies and TV shows to a screeching halt. Companies quickly felt the strain in their bottom lines.

Netflix, for example, cut more than 100 shows from its catalog in the wake of 2023 to focus on quality over quantity. In addition, the streaming giant only spent $12.6 billion on content last year — a stark different from the $17 billion originally expected, according to Variety.

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