Amazon Set to Spend $4.5 Billion on Video Content This Year

The war between Netflix and Amazon for streaming supremacy is about to get ugly…or at least very, very expensive. Netflix has so far been leading the pack in both spending and sheer volume of original content, but Amazon is primed to try and close the gap in 2017 — to the tune of several billion dollars.

Back in July, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky laid out Amazon’s plans to crack open their Scrooge McDuck-style money vaults on behalf of the Amazon Instant Video library. Olsavsky at the time suggested Amazon planned to “nearly double” its spending on video content, and to triple its investment in original content for Prime Video. According to J.P. Morgan analysts (as reported by Business Insider), that would put Amazon’s video investments for 2017 in the neighborhood of $4.5 billion.

That still falls short of Netflix’s content budget for 2017, which is reported to be a whopping $6 billion. Still, that’s one hell of a chunk of change, and proof that the streaming landscape will continue to be one of the most exciting fields for unique original content. That commitment to aggressively fostering original material also probably has something to do with that two-season greenlight Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Amazon pilot The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel just received.

For a further sense of perspective, HBO spent around $2 billion on programming in 2016. Jeff Bezos is making it rain, y’all.

Even with that huge investment, Amazon has got a serious fight ahead of it to best its rival. Netflix has a stated goal of having original content comprise half their catalog within the next few years. And given the rate at which they’re adding new shows and films each month, they just might pull that off. Given that they’re regularly investing in hugely expensive shows like The Crown and The Get-Down, Netflix definitely seems willing to spend money to make money. But with Amazon dropping a reported quarter-billion dollars on its hit series The Grand Tour, Netflix definitely better watch its back.