★ Amazon is Reportedly Looking to Buy Lower-Profile Channels from TV Companies (Sep 15, 2017)

NBC News reports that Amazon has been talking to traditional TV companies about taking some of their lower-profile networks off their hands. Four specific examples cited in the article linked below are VH1 and CMT at Viacom and Adult Swim and Boomerang at Turner. Big TV companies have been shutting down cable networks over the last few years and focusing their efforts on a smaller number of successful channels with big audiences as cord cutting begins to really bite, so there are potentially quite a few channels with smaller audiences out there for the taking, and NBC says Amazon might buy “scores” of them, though that number might be a bit of a stretch. At any rate, the question becomes what Amazon would do with them, and the obvious answer is either bundling them into Prime or selling them as add-ons to Prime. But another really interesting angle to think about is advertising, where Amazon has been quietly building a big online business but with very little action so far on the video side. Owning lots of linear channels would allow it to build a much bigger video ad business as a complement to its online ad business, and potentially do cross-platform targeting across them. It’s also a fascinating alternative to spending ever more to commission and/or acquire original content for its streaming service – it could probably snap up some of these channels pretty cheaply and run them for less than it would cost to build up equivalent amounts of original content from scratch. Importantly, some of these networks have small audiences but lots of distribution – VH1 is in well over 80 million homes, for example. That would be pretty good relative to Amazon’s own domestic distribution through Prime.

via NBC News

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