Amazon Prime Video has never played the same game as Netflix and Disney+. The streaming service began as a loss leader to provide added value for customers after they’re done buying Swiffer pads. Months go by between its big releases and the app’s interface hasn’t been updated in years. From the outside looking in, it has appeared over the years that Amazon may just not care all that much about streaming.
But that attitude is rapidly changing. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke wields an annual content budget upwards of $8 billion; the company recently acquired MGM Studios for $8.45 billion; and Prime Video is set to take some big-budget home-run swings in the coming years, including 2022’s Lord of the Rings TV show. (There’s a reason every streaming service is looking for the next Game of Thrones or Mandalorian.) Leaving aside toe-in-the-water productions like The Boys (and films acquired from other studios like The Tomorrow War and Coming 2 America), Amazon’s first major salvo in the streaming wars is an ambitious adaptation of sprawling fantasy book series The Wheel of Time, which premieres today (November 19). Entering this battle is no easy task, but it certainly helps if you can start off your campaign with a bang.
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