Amazon has started the roll out of MGM+ – its rebranded version of the EPIX streaming platform – and it has big implications for fans of 007.
EPIX originally came under Amazon’s wing following the online retail giant’s $8.5 billion acquisition of iconic Hollywood studio MGM back in March last year.
Industry experts initially saw the purchase as a means of giving the tech giant’s Prime Video streaming service access to a huge back catalogue of classic content, with the deal seeing massive movie franchises like Rocky and Tomb Raider falling under Amazon’s ownership – it could’ve rocketed Prime Video to the top of our list of the best streaming services.
Crucially, the deal also saw Amazon get their hands on the entire James Bond collection, with Amazon marking the purchase by making the complete catalog of 007 movies available to stream on its Prime Video service for a limited period last year.
However, with this week’s launch of MGM+, it looks like Amazon still plans to maintain the studio’s legacy streaming service alongside its established Amazon Prime service, with the rejigged platform the new home for all things Bond.
With the exception of the recent Daniel Craig swansong No Time to Die, all 007 films have recently slipped off the selection of the best Prime Video movies, with a huge chunk of the movies now to be found on MGM+. It’s worth noting that almost all Sean Connery- era Bond epics don’t appear to be available on the rebranded service, while rival streamer Paramount Plus also appears to have a similar amount of Bond films currently available on demand.
(Image credit: MGM)
Originally launched in the US in 2008 as a premium linear TV channel in partnership with Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate, EPIX gave early cable access to all three studios’ movie output as well as their back catalogue of classic films and new TV shows. MGM would eventually buy out its partners and relaunch as an on-demand streaming service.
Launching the new-look MGM+ service, Michael Wright, head of the streaming service said, said: “MGM+ will deliver on its iconic and beloved studio legacy, with cinematic, sophisticated, and transportive storytelling. We are growing our library, comprised of original television series and blockbuster films that celebrate the MGM brand.”
Espionage fans look set to be well served beyond Bond on the relaunched service, with the British intelligence thriller A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce among a host of new launch shows and movies on MGM+.
The service is also the exclusive home of season three of the acclaimed drama series Godfather of Harlem as well as season two of the contemporary sci-fi horror series From.
Industry observers are now tipping the tech giant plans to launch MGM+ internationally as a more high-profile, premium offering alongside Amazon Prime Video. A scaled-back, MGM streaming service currently remains available in many regions around the world within Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, sitting alongside numerous third-party services.
(Image credit: MGM)
Analysis: MGM+ offers a Quantum of Solace for 007 fans
Another week, another streaming service.
For classic movie fans in the US, MGM+ certainly looks like a good bet for a subscription, with a seemingly unending catalogue of big hits available on demand including Silence of the Lambs, Rocky, Platoon, Robocop and The Magnificent Seven plus more recent smash hits like Top Gun: Maverick.
While MGM+ seems a fitting home for Bond movies, after Amazon Prime’s recent treat of making the entire collection of films available on demand, its more than a little disappointing to find major holes in the 007 library on the relaunched service.
Cinephiles will also likely feel let down by the comparative low quality that films are being offered at on the service at launch. Unlike Netflix and Apple TV Plus there’s no sign of 4K HDR or Dolby Atmos, despite Ultra HD masters being available for multiple titles in the MGM+ library.
If you’re wondering which Bond films to watch, we have a guide to the Connery Bond movies ranked, the Roger Moore Bond films ranked, the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies ranked, and Daniel Craig’s Bond movies ranked.