Amazon has plans to sell some of its original Prime Video content to other streaming platforms. In a press release posted on Monday (via Variety), the company announced that it’s forming Amazon MGM Studios Distribution to handle the placement of its shows and movies on outside services, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hunters, All the Old Knives, and more.
This means that some of the shows and movies that were once exclusive to Prime Video could land on cable networks and other streaming services, including those that offer free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) and advertising-based video on demand (AVOD). While Amazon has licensed its content to other services in the past, establishing a dedicated division signals that the company’s looking to make a bigger jump into content distribution as streamers struggle to reach new audiences.
The media distribution arm builds off of the existing MGM distribution team that Amazon gained control over after it acquired the entertainment giant last year. Chris Ottinger, who led MGM’s distribution division, will also head up Amazon MGM Studios Distribution, which will continue to license out MGM’s content, like The Handmaid’s Tale, Rocky, Creed, and James Bond franchises.
Amazon’s move to sell more of its content comes amid a Hollywood writers strike
“Pioneering the distribution of Amazon Originals for Amazon Studios is an exciting opportunity to bring fresh, never-before available quality content to audiences around the globe,” Ottinger says in a statement. “In doing so, we will break through the current sales mold by creating custom packages that will fulfill our client’s individual content needs.”
As Prime Video adapts to an evolving streaming landscape, Amazon announced last week that it would start adding some of its Prime Video originals to its FAST service, Freevee. Earlier this year, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav similarly brought shows like Westworld to Roku and Tubi in line with his “open for business” mindset that leaves licensing deals for the company’s library of iconic content up for grabs.
But Amazon’s move to sell more of its content comes amid a writers strike that has brought Hollywood productions to a standstill. This move toward syndication could affect writers’ pay going forward, as the residuals writers earn on content for streaming services have become a huge point of contention in the strike. (Disclosure: The Verge’s editorial staff is also unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East.)