🎬 Why Amazon bought MGM - The Hustle
The Hustle

🎬 Why Amazon bought MGM

In the biggest financial upset in recent March Madness history, the No. 15-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks beat the No. 2-seeded Kentucky Wildcats 85-79 in an overtime thriller last week. Saint Peter’s basketball program budget is $1.6m, while Kentucky’s is $18.3m.

In today’s email:

  • Hollywood hustle: Why did Amazon buy MGM?
  • Chart: Why Hinge may be your best bet at marriage.
  • Digits: Brain chips, candy sales, and more by the numbers.
  • Around the web: Writing tools, sailing sloths, a crypto island, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear about the biggest financial upset in sports, the US coin shortage, dating app economics, Pete Davidson’s space update, Amazon buying MGM, and more.

The big idea

Why Amazon bought MGM for $8.5B

Amazon’s Hollywood ambitions are nothing new.

The company launched the streaming service that would become Prime Video in 2006, and started its own film and television studio, Amazon Studios, in 2010.

Now, after getting the go-ahead from EU regulators, the Bezos behemoth officially owns a piece of old Hollywood — MGM studios.

The $8.5B purchase…

… includes a massive catalog of content. Per Protocol, MGM’s roster includes:

  • 4k+ films, including franchises like Rocky, James Bond, and The Pink Panther
  • 17k+ TV show episodes, including series like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Fargo,” and “Vikings”

Intuitively, many of these titles will end up on Prime Video, and as the rapid growth of Disney+ has shown, having the right content can make all the difference in the streaming wars.

Amazon also plans to utilize MGM’s famous franchises to create new films and series.

Another reason for the acquisition?

Ads. While it gets less billing than Prime Video, Amazon has another streaming platform — IMDb TV.

IMDb TV is ad-supported and completely free, even for viewers who aren’t subscribed to Amazon Prime. The service is a key reason Amazon is able to place ads in front of 120m streamers per month.

If Amazon ends up pushing much of MGM’s catalog to the free service, it might not be under the radar for long.

What’s next?

Analysts have been dreaming of Amazon purchasing AMC Entertainment for years, and if the company truly wanted to revive old Hollywood, investing in the theater experience could be the logical next step.

Theaters fit into Amazon’s physical retail play, and Amazon’s willingness to take losses could actually make a MoviePass-like subscription possible.

Plus, imagine how many Prime sign-ups they’ll get when free popcorn and drinks are added to the subscriber perks.

SNIPPETS

Inflation proof? If there’s one thing that isn’t rising in cost, it’s your cell phone bill. Due to competition between mobile carriers, the price of phone plans is actually dropping. #ecommerce-retail

Solar in space? The UK is considering a $21B solar power space station that would wirelessly transmit energy to Earth. #clean-energy

Chinese self-driving delivery startup Whale Dynamic just raised $2.5m with plans to tap into the US market. #emerging-tech

Change your password: A new study found that passwords with 8 characters or fewer can be hacked within ~8 hours. #privacy

Mea culpa: A fan paid $518k+ for Tom Brady’s last touchdown football a day before Brady reversed his retirement. Brady will now donate a bitcoin to their charity of choice. #fintech-crypto

Games for Ukraine: Through April 3, Epic will donate all proceeds from its latest season of “Fortnite” — its battle royale game with 80.4m+ active monthly players — to Ukraine. #big-tech

Dating Data

Selina Lee

Why Hinge is okay making less money than Tinder and Bumble

In a survey of 5k+ recently engaged couples, The Knot found that 1 in 4 met online.

Of those, 3 dating apps were most responsible:

  • Tinder matched 27%
  • Bumble matched 23%
  • Hinge matched 21%

Interestingly, Hinge has just ~12% the annual revenue of Tinder, but is responsible for 78% as many engagements as its bigger counterpart.

And since Hinge’s slogan is that it’s “designed to be deleted,” it’s unlikely they’re losing sleep over the revenue differential.

Free Resource

Ebook: How to make a scalable business plan

Near the top of both Monday.com and HubSpot’s resumes, a bullet reads: “Exceptional at scaling companies.”

It’s only right that they linked up to create the modern guide on how to grow a delightful digital business.

This is how alignment happens. Keep your operation organized with these foundational planning schemes, courtesy of a couple kingmakers.

Inside the ebook: Strategic planning kit for businesses

  • Best practices for seamless strategies across departments
  • Insights into competition, risk, opportunity, and budgeting
  • How to classify and quash gaps in your marketing plans
  • How to communicate company missions, values, and goals

We know it’s free, but we only ever plug premium.

Schemes for teams →
By the Numbers

Brains are important, according to brains. (Andrzej Wojcicki / Getty Images)

Digits: Brain chips, candy sales, Nikes, and more

1) A recent Pew survey found 56% of Americans think putting computer chip implants in human brains to “advance cognitive skills” is a bad idea for society. Notably, 46% think facial recognition tech used by police is a good idea for society.

2) According to the National Confectioners Association — which, by the name of it, sounds like a lovely association — in 2021, there was $36.9B in US candy sales. Non-chocolate sales grew faster than chocolate sales, at 14.5% and 9.2% growth rates, respectively.

3) Out of the 68 teams that made March Madness this year, 39 wear Nikes, 16 wear Under Armour, and 13 wear Adidas. Of the Nike teams, 6 wear Jordans with the infamous “Jumpman” logo. Notably, the Jordan Brand has increased revenue from $2.6B in 2015 to $4.7B in 2021.

4) Researchers at Duke and Florida State University estimate that 170m+ Americans alive today were exposed to high levels of lead in their childhoods, contributing to population-wide IQ loss of 824,097,690 IQ points as of 2015.

5) A recent survey by a luxury mattress company found that 7 in 10 people have had a dream about a brand as a result of interacting with regular ads or using a product in daily life (42% said Apple has appeared in their dreams).

AROUND THE WEB

✊🏾 On this day: In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. kicked off a historic march, leading 3.2k civil rights demonstrators from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

🕯️ How to: This guide to building an indoor alcohol heater with a jar is very thorough — and great for camping and power outages.

🧙‍♀ Useful: Taleguild is a tool that gamifies writing to help you stay focused as you create. There’s also a writing community built into the app.

🎧 Podcast: PJ Vogt’s new podcast, Crypto Island, explores some of the strangest stories on the blockchain, starting with plans for a private island for crypto enthusiasts.

🦥 Aww: And now, a sloth goes for a ride.

Meme of the day

Hot take: Bezos’ laugh > Lion’s roar (Source: NDTV)

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