How Much Does Amazon Prime Pay for Movies, TV Shows, and Filmmakers?

How Much Does Amazon Prime Pay for Movies, TV Shows, and Filmmakers?

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A lot of films premiere on streaming services and either don’t get a theatrical run at all, or they just get a limited release. Streaming services are becoming big players in the market and thanks to such services as Amazon Prime, you can watch new content very quickly, with some movies even premiering on the streaming service. But, how much does Amazon Prime pay for its movies and TV shows?

Amazon’s deals with filmmakers and production companies aren’t public, so the exact numbers here are unknown. There is no fixed worth, so Amazon pays for each project individually, based on its estimate of the project’s worth and the production costs. The same applies to both movies and TV shows, both licensed and original.

The article is going to explore the financial aspects of Amazon’s deals with filmmakers and production companies. You’re going to find out just how much Amazon pays for movies (indie and blockbusters) and TV shows, as well as how much money filmmakers earn from Amazon.

How much does Amazon pay for a movie?

The first thing we need to stress out is that the focus of this article is going to be Amazon’s licensed content, i.e., the content owned by third parties, whose distribution rights Amazon pays for. Content produced by Amazon is not that relevant here, as original content always has its own production budget and that depends on a lot of different factors, which is why we won’t be focusing on it here.

Now, as far as licensing agreements are concerned, it is a known fact that Amazon Prime doesn’t publicly disclose its deals. Okay, we do have some leaks or press releases from time to time, that much is obvious, but as a general rule – the deals Amazon makes with filmmakers are a corporate secret.


Amazon, as a company that is mostly focused on selling stuff, has entered the film market sometime later, but as a corporation with a long tradition, it has managed to be very secretive when its deals are concerned. Now, Amazon makes money from its subscribers, as well as rentals – both physical and streaming. This brings them a solid amount of cash they can use to acquire new content.

The only issue here is that we actually don’t know any precise numbers. Amazon is very secretive about its content and we haven’t found any information on the Internet related to the price of Amazon’s content. Now, we do know how some other services pay for its content, which can be used as a reference point, seeing that Amazon is a big player, but not a monopolist.

This led us to believe that Amazon’s prices are on par with the prices offered by other streaming services, which you can also check in our article dealing with how much Netflix pays for its content.

What is the most Amazon has paid for a movie?

Sadly, this information is not publicly known. Unlike Netflix, for example, Amazon is quite secretive about its content so we don’t have any clue as to the highest-paid movie on the service. We do know that the company has acquired MGM for 8.45 billion, but that is a complete buy-out that is not related to individual titles.

How much does Amazon pay for independent films?

You have probably assumed that we cannot provide you with any precise information about this, as Amazon doesn’t disclose its deals publicly, and it seems that the filmmakers don’t do it either. Independent filmmakers generally have it tough to find a distributor for their movies and although they have it somewhat easier if they manage to screen their movie during a festival.

Amazon, like other services, tends to “buy off” independent movies directly from (major) festivals (a great example is the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea), but if you’re not that lucky to be in Sundance, Tribeca, or Venice, you might be in trouble.

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As for the total amount, it all depends on the agreement and how much potential Amazon sees in the project. There are no exact numbers, so it all depends on the contract. We’re not even sure how the old numbers apply today, so we can’t actually give any more info besides what we already have.

Amazon does have a good aspect here, in that it allows anyone to upload a movie to its streaming service and, eventually, go Prime. So, if you have a movie and a project, you can simply upload it to Amazon and wait for the royalties to kick in. The amount of money you’ll get depends on the ratings, rankings, comments, and streaming hours, with Amazon providing you with a certain amount of cash for each hour streamed.

How much does Amazon pay for blockbuster films?

As with the above-written paragraph, this information is not publicly known. Amazon is very secretive about its deals and even the Internet seems to be completely oblivious about how much money Amazon gives for certain movies.

How much does Amazon pay for TV shows?

Believe it or not, this information is also quite scarce. Although Amazon does produce a lot of original TV shows, the production budgets for hits such as Good Omens, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or Jack Ryan are completely unknown to the public. We do know, for example, that The Romanoffs has a $70 million first season production budget, but that is a rare exception when Amazon is concerned.

Comparing the money, it seems that Amazon does pay a bit less for its original content than, for example, Netflix, but the budgets are still more than solid.

What is the most Amazon has paid for a TV show?

As with most paragraphs dealing with precise numbers, we don’t actually know the biggest amount Amazon has paid for one of its TV shows. The budgets are kept secret and there are only some information about old shows and their production budgets, but that is certainly far from relevant here.

How do filmmakers make money from Amazon?

This also heavily depends on the deal with Amazon, actually. Now, the producers and the filmmakers have to charge a production fee, production overheads, development costs, and product placement fees.

This amounts to a solid fee once it’s done, and there are, of course, royalties which are a constant source of income for the filmmakers. A contract might also guarantee them a certain percentage of the film’s earnings.

How much does Amazon pay filmmakers?

The actual amount that filmmakers receive per project is a corporate secret and is not publicly disclosed, which is expected for such large projects. As with most aspects, it all depends on the contract, really.

Based on some usual ratios, we might assume that filmmakers themselves get around 10 to 20% of direct profit, without the additional fees, but this is really just a rough estimate, as the exact numbers are not subject to public disclosure.

Bigger names, of course, earn more money, but with a good agent or attorney, even lesser-known filmmakers might earn some solid money.

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