Amazon has invested more than £1bn in TV, movie and live sport content in the UK since 2018, with plans to pump even more cash into establishing itself as the go-to content provider for Brits.
Not only is this the first time Amazon have disclosed the level of investment in Prime Video in the UK, but it also shows the continuing momentum for the ecommerce giant.
Managing director of Prime Video UK Chris Bird told the Guardian: “Over the last five years we have crossed the £1bn mark, that feels like a milestone to recognise our growth here. We are fully committed to our future in the UK, as we are across Europe and the world.”
Earlier this year, Prime Video announced a multimillion-pound long-term contract with the iconic Shepperton Studios. In a vote of confidence in British pictures, the move will give Amazon exclusive use of new facilities at the Surrey studios for future original TV series and movie productions.
Amazon Studios notably announced that its upcoming Lord of the Rings series will film its second season in the UK, pumping even more cash into the booming film sector.
New Zealand’s minister for economic development and tourism, Stuart Nash, said the first series, which was filmed in New Zealand, cost around NZ$650m (£332m) to make, with the overall series costing over a £1bn to make.
By contrast, its biggest rival Netflix revealed that it would be slowing down its investment in new shows amid dwindling subscriber numbers, which it predicts are only set to worsen.
Netflix Chief financial officer Spencer Neumann said the company would be “pulling back” on spending growth, rooted in the desire to maintain operating profit margin at about 20 per cent.
For a content powerhouse like Netflix, this still means spending $17bn on content next year – up 25 per cent from 2021 and 57 per cent from the $10.8 billion it spent in 2020.
Netflix’s UK head of production Anna Mallet said earlier this year that she holds $1bn-a-year budget to produce content in the UK.
On Tuesday, Netflix said it had laid off 150 employees in the US, raising questions for what this will mean for the UK