I still remember the good old days when Netflix was a service where you had to receive DVDs in the mail, then had to send them back to get another. It seemed like another lifetime ago; hell, it seemed like another planet ago. Fast forward to today, and streaming services are battling it out to see who will claim the top prize, and some pretty ludicrous numbers are being tossed around.
Business Insider reports that Amazon is preparing to spend upwards of $4.5 billion on video content in 2017 in a bid to take the fight straight to Netflix. This actually comes as some surprising news on my end since prior to The Grand Tour, Amazon Video was my least used app on my Android TV, coming in well below Netflix, Hulu Plus, Google Movies and TV, Disney Movies Anywhere, and even the WWE Network. The Grand Tour and Amazon being the only place to watch old Top Gear seasons quickly catapulted the app to the top of my viewing lists.
The increase to $4.5 billion still puts it well below Netflix’s $6 billion content budget for 2017, but it would make Amazon a much bigger player in the market than originally expected. By comparison, HBO spent approximately $2 billion on programming in 2016 and is expected to spend a “couple of billion dollars” in 2017.
Amazon’s sudden jump in the video app space can be attributed to Prime Video going global in December, launching in over 200 countries worldwide. A huge part of the popularity of Amazon can be attributed to The Grand Tour and The Man In the High Castle. Amazon reportedly paid $250 million for three seasons of The Grand Tour, a colossal sum which seems to be paying off quite nicely.
It doesn’t stop with original content either. Amazon and the NFL recently struck a $50 million deal for Amazon to stream ten Thursday Night Football games, which is five times larger than the deal the NFL had with Twitter. That could potentially mean a huge increase in viewers, which can easily translate to more eyeballs on The Grand Tour.