“It’s still the beginning for us in the media”
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told CNBC the company has big ambitions in entertainment, from live sports to original content for Prime subscribers.
“It’s still the beginning for us in the media,” Jassy told “TechCheck” co-host Jon Fortt in an interview that aired Tuesday morning. “We’ve got off to a good start, but we believe we have the potential to deliver a unique viewing experience to our customers with truly original and creative content. “
Amazon in May announced plans to acquire MGM Studios for $ 8.45 billion, a move widely seen as underscoring the company’s growing ambition in Hollywood. The company has also aggressively stepped up its investments in media and entertainment, with $ 11 billion spent on content for its streaming video and music services in 2020, up from $ 7.8 billion the year before.
Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” TV series, set to debut in September 2022, will cost at least $ 465 million for the first season, an unprecedented budget for a streaming show.
Hundreds of millions of people are now watching original Amazon content, Jassy said, in one of his first interviews since taking the reins as CEO from founder Jeff Bezos.
Amazon is increasingly targeting live sports content in hopes of attracting more viewers and converting them into Prime subscribers. Sources told CNBC that Amazon has a serious interest in the National Football League’s “Sunday Ticket” and is in talks with the league about the package.
Jassy declined to comment on Amazon’s appetite for the “Sunday Ticket,” but said the company had a “very important partnership” with the NFL, citing previous AWS deals with the league.
Amazon’s line of branded TVs, the first ever to launch, could serve as a new format to combine entertainment and commerce, Jassy said. The TVs come with Amazon’s Fire TV software and Alexa voice control.
“More and more people will be trading in these mechanisms,” Jassy said. “Between what we do with Alexa and what we do in the living room, I think we have the opportunity to change what’s possible for people and what’s accessible to people.”