By Christopher Palmeri
Amazon.com Inc. is launching a new unit to distribute its movies and TV shows to other media outlets besides its Prime Video streaming service.
Amazon MGM Studios Distribution will make the programming available to rent or buy on other services and on airplanes. It will also license the shows to foreign TV networks.
The unit will tap the company’s library of 4,000 films and 17,000 TV episodes, including originals produced by its Amazon Studios division, such as Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the company said in a release Monday. The originals will be offered on other outlets after their initial run on Prime Video.
After a number of years of reserving their programming for their own streaming services, entertainment giants like Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. have been licensing more of their content to third parties as a way of generating additional revenue.
Amazon’s move follows the company’s $8.5 billion acquisition last year of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. film studio, home of James Bond and other franchises.
Amazon is committing as much as $1 billion for films which will be released in theaters, further evidence that new media companies are embracing traditional Hollywood distribution models.