Prime Video costs more than any other streaming platform: Amazon’s slow and complex race to success


The metrics that Amazon exposes with its Prime Video platform are somewhat complex if we compare them with other streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max, Disney + and company. This is because its service is not only focused on offering a platform to watch a multitude of series and movies, but also it is one more element of the ‘ecosystem’ that Amazon has built around its Prime subscription. Because of this, it’s hard to extrapolate the numbers that Amazon Prime gets from Prime Video alone.

Taking this into account, if we look at the thickness of its numbers, Amazon Prime has about 200 million subscribers, 20 million less than Netflix. However, this figure is equivalent to all users who have an Amazon Prime subscription, a service that also includes free shipping, subscriptions and free games with Twitch Prime, a streaming music service, and more. The users who are only part of Prime Video are not yet known, although everything indicates that the figure should be around below the subscribers presented by Disney + (152 million) or HBO Max (76.8 million).

Prime Video, one of the most visible faces of the Amazon ecosystem

Knowing the dimensions that Amazon handles, and how banal it is to compare an entire ecosystem like Amazon Prime with a video streaming platform, Bloomberg wanted to break down the strategy that the technology giant has been carrying out to better understand the magnitude of their numbers.

Amazon has been producing its own original series and movies for as long as Netflix has. Nevertheless, the most watched of Prime Video is rarely any of its own production, but purchases from third parties or from a more extensive catalog such as MGM, its recent acquisition. It is also far away in terms of prizes won with its series and movies compared to other streaming platforms.


Image: Xataka. Source: Bloomberg

However, there is one thing that doesn’t quite fit into the heads of some top Hollywood executives: despite not achieving anything truly groundbreaking with Prime Video, is the company that invests the most in its video platform above all others.

Losing money on each own production is considered by Amazon as an investment strategy to monopolize the maximum number of subscribers to its ‘ecosystem’.

The graph shown by Bloomberg in his article reflects the amount of money that Amazon invests in its platform. Prime Video is in first place with 15,000 million dollars in costs, closely followed by Netflix at $13.6 billion. Far below are the rest, with Disney +, Warner Bros. Discovery (HBO Max), Apple and others. Of these costs, Amazon uses 5,000 million dollars in the retransmission of sporting events and 10,000 million dollars in its own productions. After these data, Bloomberg’s question resonates in some way in the environment: if you spend more money on your own productions, why doesn’t the platform stand out at all?

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The reason is simple. Whether or not it stands out is more or less indifferent to the company. By this we mean that Prime Video is actually a tool to massively attract users to the Amazon Prime subscription. Losing money on each own production is considered by Amazon as an investment strategy to monopolize the maximum number of subscribers to its ‘ecosystem’, a strategy similar to that of Microsoft or Apple with their services. This is reflected in the company’s financial results for 2021, where generated nearly $500 billion in revenue and a net profit of 33,000 million dollars.

A complex fabric with services in multiple sectors

In addition to Amazon Prime, the company’s ecosystem has numerous tentacles, reaching into countless sectors through its complex corporate fabric: from e-books to cloud games, servers, home automation, streaming music and a long etcetera. . Prime Video viewing metrics are not essential object for Amazonbut the company prefers to feed on Prime subscriptions.

Although from Amazon they hope that series or movies in which they have invested a huge amount of money will work, as is the case with ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, for the company, the fact that they ‘work’ does not mean surpassing the blockbuster that is compared to Netflix in viewing, but in make your users see a gateway to your ecosystem and discover that Amazon is not only a shopping store or a streaming video platform, but ‘a whole range of possibilities in many sectors’.

That said, it does not mean that Prime Video does not have successful productions; Series like ‘The Boys’ or ‘Invincible’ have made a deep impression on their users, placing the video platform in a more ‘aggressive and adult’ corner than the visible face of other streaming services. In addition, other productions such as ‘Outer Range’ or ‘The Wheel of Time’ have also attracted quite a few glances with notable success. This makes Prime Video a fierce rival to reckon with, especially knowing that move your cards with an inexhaustible source of time and money.


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