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Amazon com : Walking Dead' Creator Joins Prime -- WSJ

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08/12/2017 | 08:48am CEST
By Cara Lombardo 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (August 12, 2017).

The creator of "The Walking Dead" has agreed to develop new programming that will air exclusively on Amazon.com Inc.'s streaming service, the web giant said Friday.

Under the partnership agreement, Amazon will get a first look at new offerings from Robert Kirkman and the company he co-founded, Skybound Entertainment.

Mr. Kirkman, whose comic books inspired "The Walking Dead," AMC's popular show about zombies, will remain attached to his existing shows at the cable network, a person familiar with the deal said. In addition to "The Walking Dead," slated to enter its eighth season this fall, those include a spinoff called "Fear the Walking Dead" and a comic-book documentary series.

Amazon has been bolstering original programming on Prime Video, its streaming service available to Amazon Prime members who pay the $99 annual fee, in an effort to attract new members. Analysts have estimated that Prime members spend more than double what nonmembers spend on Amazon.com.

The company said the deal with Mr. Kirkman comes amid a push to expand science fiction, fantasy and horror offerings on Prime Video.

"Robert is a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for elevated genre storytelling that pushes boundaries," said the head of event series at Amazon Studios, Sharon Tal Yguado, who also had a hand in "The Walking Dead."

Mr. Kirkman, whose company has also produced a virtual-reality series and has plans for another, said in prepared remarks that working with "a forward-thinking company" with the vast resources of Amazon would help Skybound further its ambitions to break new ground in storytelling.

The news comes days after rival streaming service Netflix announced it had made its first acquisition, purchasing comic-book publisher Millarworld for between $50 million and $100 million. Millarworld, founded by Mark Millar, is best known for characters and stories such as Kick-Ass and Old Man Logan.

Shares in Amazon were up 1.17% midday Friday.

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Financials ($)
Sales 2017 175 B
EBIT 2017 3 251 M
Net income 2017 1 825 M
Finance 2017 12 481 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 254,41
P/E ratio 2018 118,23
EV / Sales 2017 2,58x
EV / Sales 2018 1,96x
Capitalization 464 B
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 48
Average target price 1 155 $
Spread / Average Target 20%
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NameTitle
Jeffrey P. Bezos Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Brian T. Olsavsky Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
John Seely Brown Independent Director
Patricia Q. Stonesifer Independent Director
Tom A. Alberg Independent Director
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