Amazon Says Video And Music Spending Rose 14% In 2023

Amazon said its spending on video and music content grew 14% in 2023, reaching $18.9 billion.

The figure, disclosed Friday morning in the company’s annual report filed with the SEC, includes licensing and production costs for Prime member offerings as well as costs for digital subscriptions and sold or rented titles.

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The rise in spending came despite the dual strikes by Hollywood guilds, which hampered production across the film and TV industry.

The company released its most-watched episodic title of 2023 last November with the second season of Reacher. Wide-appeal movies like Candy Cane Lane went straight to Prime Video, while the star-studded Air received Amazon’s most extensive theatrical release yet before heading to streaming.

Results in 2023 also included the first full year of financials for MGM, which was acquired in 2022.

Sports rights costs also contributed to the increased spending last year, with the company continuing to pay in the range of $1 billion a year for exclusive rights to NFL Thursday Night Football.

Advertising has been a key strategic component in the rise in spending. On Thursday, Amazon reported strong quarterly results, including a 27% gain in advertising services revenue. The company is seeing brisk sales and increasing viewership for its NFL streams, and has also just started rolling out ads on scripted programming on prime. During the company’s quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts Thursday, CFO Dave Olsavsky said the expansion of ads is “an important part of the total business model.”

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