Analysts at JP Morgan estimate that Amazon is set to spend upwards of $4.5 billion on its video services in 2017. That figure includes the costs of both creating Amazon original series and acquiring rights to existing franchises. That amount of capital being poured into Amazon’s video services has some investors believing that Amazon could catch up with the runaway popularity and success of Netflix’s content – or at least that it is trying to. Last year, Amazon acquired Top Gear spinoff The Grand Tour for a reported $250 million, and the show has gone on to become one of Amazon Video’s major successes. Can Amazon simply use their incredible amounts of capital to simply buy the best properties to attract more viewers? It’s possible.
To that end, Amazon made headlines earlier this week when it announced that it was spending $50 million on a deal with the National Football League to stream NFL games directly from the Amazon video service. Deals like the NFL agreement show that Amazon is looking to get creative in their efforts to win the streaming television wars. Amazon Studio’s vice president Roy Price believes the success of their video service depends on looking outside of the box to find what he calls the “the creme de la creme” of streaming video content:
You can look at what people watch but you can’t be too deterministic about it. The show that will be real game changer will be a rule breaker, not what people are watching today.
Despite the success of original content such as Mozart in the Jungle, The Man in the High Castle, and Transparent, Amazon Video’s ratings still lag behind competitors. Amazon has been attempting to boost the use of its video services after the company found that nearly one-fifth of their U.S. Amazon Prime subscribers were not using Amazon Video. Amazon does have a significant worldwide reach in over 200 countries, however, and if Amazon can land a few more successful acquisitions like the NFL deal or a couple of groundbreaking new series, Netflix might soon have a new competitor to face.