Netflix, Inc. Must Watch Out As, Inc. Ups Its Content Budget

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Netflix should probably watch out now as Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is ready to pour cash into Hollywood again. This fall, Amazon will nearly double its spending on original series like The Man in the High Castle and Transparent, says the New York Post. This will surely put pressure on Netflix to defend the position it has built with hits like House of Cards.

Will Amazon match Netflix’s content budget?

During a conference call with analysts late Thursday, Amazon executives shared their big-budget plans after the company reported blowout second quarter results. Representatives of the Seattle-based e-commerce giant refused to give specific dollar figures but did say that second-half spending on media “content” will nearly double from the second half of 2015.

Amazon told investors and analysts that in 2014, it spent $1.3 billion on media content, but it has not updated those figures since then. The online retail giant is producing new episodes of its Catastrophe and Mozart in the Jungle series in addition to the new seasons of High Castle and Transparent. A Woody Allen TV series which still has not been named is in the offing as well.

The Seattle-based giant added that this fall, its Amazon Studios unit likewise had scheduled a number of theatrical releases, including The Handmaiden, Gleason, and Manchester by the Sea. Amazon’s appetite for high-dollar productions is growing fast.

Record profit for Amazon

Topping the company’s own forecast of $28 billion, revenue jumped 31% to $30.5 billion. In comparison, Netflix spooked investors last week with shockingly weak subscriber numbers despite a strong track record of producing hit series like Black Mirror, Orange Is the New Black, and Daredevil. Amazon’s second quarter profit totaled $857 million or $1.78 a share, much more than Wall Street’s forecast of $1.11 a share. The web giant earned $92 million or 19 cents a share a year earlier.

Amazon Web Services posted net sales of $2.9 billion, up 58%. AWS is a fast-growing, quite profitable Web-hosting platform with big clients, including Netflix. The online retailer, which has long annoyed Wall Street with losses as it spent heavily on growth, has now gained five straight profitable quarters. Also the second quarter marks the third straight quarter of record profit for the Web giant.

On Thursday, Netflix shares closed down 0.42% at $91.65. Year to date, the stock is down more than 21%, while in the last year, it is down more than 16%. The stock has a 52-week high of $133.27 and a 52-week low of $79.95.

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