Amazon Sound of Metal with Riz Ahmed.
Amazon spent $ 11 billion on content for its streaming video and music services last year, the company said in its annual report on Thursday. This is the latest sign of the company’s willingness to invest heavily in the entertainment of Prime members.
The $ 11 billion spend on content in 2020 is a sharp increase from last year, when Amazon spent $ 7.8 billion, according to the report. Amazon defines video and music costs as license and production costs as well as costs for digital subscriptions and sold or rented content.
Amazon has tried to grab consumer attention in a sea of competing video and music streaming offerings from Netflix, Disney, Apple, Spotify, and many others. In recent years, the company has built a robust library of original and licensed videos, music, and podcasts, including through its December acquisition of podcasting startup Wondery.
Video and music content spending rose rapidly in 2020 as consumers spent more time indoors watching screens amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon has also pursued more expensive film projects as its profile in Hollywood has risen.
The company has long been ready to make huge investments in video and music content to promote Prime memberships. On Thursday, CEO Jeff Bezos announced in his annual letter to shareholders that Amazon now has 200 million Prime subscribers, up from 150 million at the beginning of 2020. Amazon is folding its music and video offerings into the Prime subscription plan, which Costing $ 119 a year includes other perks like free two-day shipping.