Why on Earth did Amazon spend $8 billion on a zombie studio?

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MGM Studios
In this photo illustration, screens display the old and new logos of MGM Studios. | Photo by Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Amazon just dumped an $8 billion-plus chunk of change on MGM, a studio best known for James Bond and its logo of a roaring lion. The acquisition offers an opportunity for Amazon to spin the spy films into a big perk for its streaming services. But it’s hard to believe that dropping billions for the studio’s content library is actually going to prop up Amazon’s streaming services — at least on its own.

Amazon already has a fully functioning studio arm that produces content for its Prime Video service. While it’s got a few hits here and there — Jack Ryan immediately comes to mind — Amazon has, for the most part, struggled to reach the Stranger Things-level of viewer enthusiasm that its rivals often enjoy. The company also owns IMDb TV, a...

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