Amazon films, series to get wider distribution via licensing

FILE - Amazon's Prime Video streaming app is seen on an iPad, March 19, 2018, in Baltimore. Amazon said Monday, May 8, 2023, that it will distribute its original films and TV shows, like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” to media outlets outside the Prime Video service for the first time. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Monday it will distribute its original films and TV shows, like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” to media outlets outside its Prime Video service for the first time.

The works will be licensed via a new unit called Amazon MGM Studios Distribution, which expands the number of titles currently offered by Hollywood studio MGM. Last year, the e-commerce-behemoth-turned-media-giant closed its acquisition of MGM — which houses more than 4,000 film titles and 17,000 TV episodes — for $8.5 billion.

At launch, the new division will offer several series and films including “Coming 2 America” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," Amazon said. The unit will be led by Chris Ottinger, the head of distribution at MGM, who will continue to oversee distribution of MGM's new releases and film franchises, such as the James Bond and Rocky series.

“With the integration of MGM, we wanted to take advantage of the existing team to expand our business in ways that will greatly benefit our customers around the world,” Jen Salke, who heads up Amazon and MGM Studios, said in a prepared statement.

Last week, Amazon said it would add more than 100 Amazon Originals to i ts free, ad-supported streaming service Freevee.