I got a nice surprise yesterday. Bloomberg handed it with the article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-09-11/amazon-will-spend-15-billion-on-programming-this-year), there we learn ‘Amazon is the Least Understood Company in Hollywood’. It was interesting because I do not know anything about tinseltown (Hollywood) and I put all these creators, streamers or not on one pile. It seems that there are differences and the article brings out a few sides I never considered. So when I read “Amazon has been making original series for as long as Netflix with far less to show for it. But there are signs its strategy is starting to pay off” my mind started procedure ‘Wake up’ and I took notice. You see, I created plays as stories, mini series, even a movie, but with nothing more in mind than a story. I put some of it in my blogs and that is the end of it (or so I expect) and as a storyteller. 3 series, 2 mini stories and a movie is not a bad result, especially as it is not my field, I am in technology. I am a call centre operator, a customer care person and I am happy there, even though I also miss technical support. So as we see the three things we need to be mindful “Six Gulf States told Netflix to remove videos that violate “Islamic values.”” My movie ‘How to assassinate a politician’ was specifically designed for these states. Then we get “The world’s second largest movie theater chain declared bankruptcy” yes this is sad, but it is also a sign of the times. Hollywood did not help here, they are all about creating more and too little about creating higher quality, that is definitely part of the equation and I am NOT looking at Marvel movies. Their endgame was magnificent, I still watch it at least twice a year and I might upgrade that one to a 4K edition when possible (I still do not have a 4K TV, so no rush). Then we get “Mark Bergen’s YouTube book is now for sale”, I merely wonder why that is a factor? Let’s be clear, it might be an optional work like the Social network, you know, that movie with Mark Zuckerman’s lookalike Jesse Eisenberg. But that is optionally one movie, perhaps the book has more than I reckon, but I haven’t read it yet. So when we get to “Netflix has spent more than Amazon over the last decade, and produced a much higher volume of shows. But Amazon Studios chief Jen Salke has a $10 billion budget. If you include sports, Amazon is projected to spend $15 billion on programming this year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. That’s comparable to what Netflix (and many others) will spend”, we see the first element I foresaw ‘produced a much higher volume of shows’, it is about more, not better. And there is the rub. Lets be clear, Netflix has created high quality work (the Sandman) no one denies this, but Hollywood produced in 2019 (pre Covid) 792 movies, that is almost 2 movies a day just to see it all, now we get that they cater to a niche and every movie house has a niche. Yet in 2000 they only produced 371 movies, that is quite the jump in less than 20 years, and as we are aware that the number of writers did not exponentially increase they either tailored to less quality or upped the pressure on writers giving that very same result, yes that is a personal view on the matter. As we get to “Yet we know that Amazon is a very successful company that generated $470 billion in sales and $33 billion in net income last year. We also know that its advertising business is booming” we can speculate that they are doing something right, or they have additional data none of the others have. So when this is supported by “This is Amazon’s greatest strength, but also its greatest weakness. The company has seemingly unlimited resources — and no real need to win, at least not right away. While Netflix and Disney stress over whether shows attract new customers or prevent people from canceling (or churning), churn at Amazon is almost nonexistent” We optionally see a second part that is not mentioned and merely hinted at. It is not the resources, even though that helps. They can cater to THEIR population, which implies that churning is reduced to zero, and they keep focus on the projects and so far that is paying off. There is a benefit when you OWN the bank, but I reckon that they have a stage where they cater to a plan that holds 100% of their customers. Reality makes me rephrase that into ‘that holds 95% of their customers’, a stage both Netflix and to a lesser degree Disney cannot adjust for. Not unless they spend a whole lot more and that is the danger, they do not own the bank and the first insight that involves ‘Islamic values’ is actually a lot more important. Instead of creating an offspring with the focus on the gulf states, the ego of Hollywood thinks it can do it all and there is the trap that sinks 1000 titanic’s. To be honest, I would love to see the data that Amazon relies on but I reckon that only a few (at Amazon) ever get to see that whole picture. A simple lieutenant does not get the image the generals have and these generals have to make the hard calls, the tough calls and so far it seems that them at Amazon re making the right call. I personally speculate that they are playing the long game whilst the others are limited to quarterly pushes, until the next stockholders meeting. That is why in the end Amazon will overcome nearly all hurdles and most others are sunk as they were unable to see three hurdles ahead. The article holds more and Lucas Shaw did a really good job here, he showed me a few sides I never knew (why would I), and it brought information and delight all at the same time, so you should definitely read that article, it is worth your time.
Now I need to focus on fortune cookie marketeers, hopefully more in several hours.