November 4, 2014
As part of its continued media and digital content expansion to take on companies such as Netflix, Amazon is set to acquire online comedy service Rooftop Media. The service gives viewers access to live and on demand recorded content from comedy acts across the country. While specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, the 10-person company will be acquired by Audible, a growing seller of online audiobooks that Amazon purchased in 2008 for $300 million.
According to Reuters, Rooftop’s “media partners include Apple and Yahoo, and it also works with streaming services such as Sirius XM, Spotify and Pandora.”
Donald Katz, chief exec and founder of Audible, said his company was drawn to Rooftop Media’s content and comic talent pool. The comedy service will become a part of Audible, which will significantly increase its potential audience.
To better compete with Netflix and other online digital media services, Amazon has increased its spending in recent years, which has drawn criticism from some investors and analysts. However, the online retailer is expected to continue purchasing digital content as CEO Jeff Bezos continues his pursuit of becoming an entertainment and media powerhouse.
“In past years, it began investing heavily to branch out from its online retail roots, delving into Hollywood-style content production as well as developing a line of tablets, smartphones and set-top boxes to accelerate the sale of digital content,” notes Reuters.