October 28, 2014

Amazon acquires Rooftop Media for undisclosed sum

Amazon has announced its intention to acquire Rooftop Media, an online service that gives comedy fans access to content produced by professional comedians, for an undisclosed amount.

Rooftop, founded in 2006, provides content obtained by taping comedy shows every night of the week, and the company states on its website that over 5,000 professional comedians, writers and film makers contribute material on a daily basis. That material is then available to be streamed or, in some cases, viewed on demand.

Why would Amazon, known best for being an online retailer, be interested in acquiring a comedy service?

Reuters points out that the e-commerce giant "is persisting in buying content to round out its service, with designs to take on Netflix Inc and other online digital media services." Amazon's acquisition of the audiobooks provider Audible in 2008 (a $300 million deal) is consistent with that goal, which CEO Jeff Bezos has taken quite seriously of late.

According to Forbes, Amazon "underlined that commitment to spend on entertainment programming by dropping $100 million last quarter on original content alone."

When the deal goes through, Amazon's subsidiary Audible will absorb the 10-person team responsible for Rooftop's success — it has partnered with the likes of Yahoo, Apple Inc, Sirius XM, Spotify and Pandora, Reuters reports.

Though it remains to be seen whether Bezos's investment will yield a significant return — and Amazon's investors aren't totally convinced it will — this acquisition underscores the value that buying another company can add to a business's portfolio.

If you are looking to expand your offerings by making a technology acquisition, contact an M&A advisor to discuss your options and formulate a game plan.