Here’s the Mind-Blowing Amount Amazon Spent on Streaming Content in 2021

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Amazon revealed the mind-blowing amount it spent on streaming content in 2021, explaining why it is increasing its membership fees.

On Friday, the company reported spending $13 billion on video and music content. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that’s a $2 billion increase from last year.

The company said that cost went toward licensing and productions fees and what Amazon provides through its Prime memberships. It also pays for digital subscription costs along with sold or rented content.

So, basically, it covers shows like “The Boys” along with the production costs of “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts. Money doled out to musicians for its Amazon Music product is in there too.

Amazon Trying To Keep Up With Streaming Services

Would you believe that the megacorporation spent enough to keep up with Disney and Netflix?

Nope. It’s coming. For now, the company’s spending is small compared to its giant streaming peers.

Netflix spent $17 billion in 2021, while Disney plans to spend $33 billion for content next year.

The day before the spending report, Amazon announced a $20 price increase for its Prime memberships. It’s reason for that move? Growth in the Prime Video content area.

“Since 2018, Prime Video has tripled the number of Amazon originals,” CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts on the company’s earnings call.

Great shows like “Reacher,” “The Boys,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are cheap to make. Other shows like “The Lord of the Rings” come with nine-figure price tags per season. Like Clint Eastwood? There’s a whole bunch of his movies on Amazon now too.

 The company also said it profited from same-day delivery services and services like pharmacy delivery.

The company’s fees will likely rise in 2022, too. Amazon will take over “Thursday Night Football” exclusively, and that NFL product costs $1 billion on its own. 

Amazon Membership Fees Going Up Real Soon

So, get ready for a post-Valentine sticker shock on your Amazon bill. Ok, look for it in March. Whew.

Prime memberships are going up from $12.99 to $14.99. Some folks will end up paying $180 each year.

How’s that? I’m only paying $119 a year. Well, some of you play a full year at a time while others who go by month will have to kick in an extra $40. Remember, Amazon was clever in its 2016 decision to help lower to middle-income families.

But the researchers found that those customers are pretty loyal to Amazon too.

Other costs include supply delays and labor shortages the company wants to cover.

Feeling like you’re getting ripped off? Well, take comfort in knowing it’s Amazon’s first price hike in four years. Folks renewing their memberships after March 25 will see the price go up.

Know that you’re not the only one who will see an increase. According to data from 2021, there are currently 172 million Amazon Prime customers. From 2020 to 2021, the company added 60 million. Researchers don’t think too many folks will be bothered by the cost hike.