Amazon Acquires MGM Studios for $8.45bn
By Adedapo Adesanya
Top American Internet-based enterprise, Amazon, has acquired Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) Studios for $8.45 billion as it seeks to strengthen its hold on the film industry, particularly in streaming and distribution.
On Wednesday, the company said in a statement that when the acquisition goes through, it will leverage MGM’s storied filmmaking history and wide-ranging catalogue of 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows to help bolster Amazon Studios, its film and TV division.
In the statement, Amazon said it will help preserve MGM’s heritage and catalogue of films and provide customers with greater access to these existing works. Through this acquisition, Amazon will empower MGM Studios to continue to do what they do best: great storytelling.
Speaking on the deal, Mr Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios said, “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalogue that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team.
“It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
“MGM has a vast catalogue with more than 4,000 films—12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many other icons—as well as 17,000 TV shows—including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Vikings—that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” he said.
On the part of MGM, its Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM, Mr Kevin Ulrich said, “It has been an honour to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
“To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day.
“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”
Business Post reports that the completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The deal is the second-largest acquisition in Amazon’s history, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.
Africa Day: YouTube Honours Nollywood, African Storytelling
Nollywood stars, creators, and creative community members gathered together at a YouTube event titled Celebration of Nollywood on Africa Day.
This event celebrated the enchanting world of Nollywood and marked the significant contributions of African storytelling through cinema, paying tribute to the creators who bring these narratives to life.
The event welcomed 150 attendees and assembled prominent celebrities and influential personalities from the Nollywood industry.
Notable guests included veteran actress Sola Sobowale, AMVCA comedian of the year Bimbo Ademoye, Adeyemi Okanlawon, Debo Adedayo aka Mr Macaroni, and Linda Ejiofor-Suleiman.
Top Nigerian YouTube content creators such as Apaokagi-Greene Maryam aka Taaooma, AMVCA award winner Samuel Animashaun Perry aka Broda Shaggi, and Chukwuebuka Emmanuel Amuzie aka Brainjotter, also graced the event.
Among the sessions at the event was a panel discussion addressing Nollywood’s growth and the potential of digital technology in the industry. The panellists, including Murphy Ben, CEO of Murphy Ben International and Aforevo, YouTube content creator Taaooma, and Nollywood actress and movie producer Rahama Sadau, shared invaluable insights on leveraging digital technology for industry growth and scalability.
Alex Okosi, YouTube EMEA Managing Director for Emerging Markets, acknowledged the significant impact of Nollywood and the transformative power of storytelling.
He emphasized YouTube’s dedication to partnering with Nollywood and serving as a platform where meaningful stories are shared and celebrated globally.
Okosi stated, “Your work is reshaping global narratives about Africa and Nigeria. It’s not merely entertainment – it’s powerful, transformative, and making a real difference. The stories you tell and the emotions you evoke resonate with audiences worldwide. YouTube is privileged to partner with you and provide a platform to share and celebrate these impactful narratives globally.”
Olumide Balogun, Interim Country Lead at Google Nigeria, shed light on YouTube’s commitment to supporting and promoting the Nollywood industry by promoting movies, actors, producers, and other industry members. He outlined a two-month-long program designed to spur the growth of Nollywood on YouTube.
Acclaimed actors, talented producers, and influential film community members enlivened the event, contributing to the celebratory ambience. The event showcased Africa’s dynamic culture and creativity, emphasising Nollywood’s significant role in shaping global perceptions and narratives.
In a world full of diverse stories, YouTube has remained committed to supporting black creatives across the globe, recognizing their invaluable contributions to the platform and beyond.
This commitment is exemplified by initiatives such as the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global fund aimed at amplifying Black voices and perspectives and facilitating the creation of fresh narratives that educate audiences about racial justice. With a deep gratitude for the creative community, YouTube fosters an environment where diverse voices are heard, respected, and empowered.
Excitement as Nigerian Idol Season 8 Live Show Begins
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
All is now set for the commencement of the Nigerian Idol Season 8 Live Show this weekend after the judges chose 10 contestants for the stage.
The process started last December with entries received from across the country and reached its high point when the trio of Obi Asika, D’Bank, and Simi selected 10 budding singers from the 29 who made it to the theatre week.
The live show is the crucial phase of Nigerian Idol, as the fate of the contestants is in the hands of the voting public.
Savvy Henry, Constance, Goodness, Abraham, Quest, Precious Mac, Victory, Reigny, Ose Daniel, and Chisom were selected for the final stage after five weeks of audition and theatre week performances.
Performances on the live show will be judged by the viewers, who hold the power to retain and evict contestants through their votes.
Viewers can follow their favourite contestants on Nigerian Idol season 8 by tuning in to Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Urban, and Africa Magic Family every Sunday at 7 pm.
Judges Pick 10 Contestants for Nigerian Idol Season 8 Live Show
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The ongoing Nigerian Idol Season 8 will take a new twist this weekend as 10 contestants will begin the race to clinch the coveted prize with the help of the voting public.
Before now, the judges for the show, Simi, Obi Asika, and D’Banj, have had the final say on the thousands of budding singers that applied for the programme.
But from this weekend, it would be the turn of the viewers to seal the fate of the contestants. The three judges picked 10 contestants from the 29 that made it to the final stage of Theatre Week after doing their final solo performance.
The aspiring music stars would be expected to sing and impress the viewers with their performances during the Nigerian Idol Season 8 live show on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
The first pick for the final top 10 was Henry Savy, who impressed the judges with his Para performance of Davido, as 17-year old Constance stole the show as she melted hearts with Positions by Ariana Grande, while Precious Mac thrilled and filled the theatre with singer Simi’s Ayo.
The judges also selected Victory, Daniel Ose, Goodness, Abraham, Reigny and Quest after singing No Shaking by 2baba, Catch me if you can by Adekunle Gold, About damn time by Lizzo, Under the Influence by Chris Brown, Karma by Summer Walker, and Flowers by Miley Cyrus, respectively.
The last man standing, Chizo, narrowly escaped this time around, unlike last season when he was sent off at a crucial moment.
Meanwhile, 19 contenders – Arite, Sapphire Whinnas, Amaka, Akinwande, Mura’s twin brother (Mina), Eloehi, Daniel, Sir Danny, Soultunes, Busayo, and nine others were tactfully eliminated from the moving train as it could only accommodate the 10 best acts this time around.
While commenting, Ms Aransiola Biola, who is the Assistant Brand Manager of the sponsor of the show, Bigi, said the support was to help discover and nurture talent across the country and the African continent and a demonstration of its mantra that it is for every moment, connecting consumers through worthy platforms.
“We are excited to sponsor Nigerian Idol for three consecutive years, the Seasons 6 and 7, due to our love for promoting the entertainment industry and to support the next generation of musical talents,” she stated.
“This show is a great opportunity for contestants to showcase what they have as they unlock new opportunities in the music industry,” she added.
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