Amazon snaps up Rooftop Media to boost online entertainment services

The online retail giant is seeking business opportunities beyond the warehouse, and the latest acquisition of the online comedy service underscores Amazon's goals.


Amazon has acquired online comedy service Rooftop Media, taking another small step towards competing with rivals such as Netflix.

The online retail giant is purchasing Rooftop Media in order to promote the firm's plans to step outside of e-commerce and tap into other revenue streams. Amazon has already dabbled in the mobile sphere — bringing out the disappointing Fire Phone , as well as e-readers, and is well-known for Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, the Seattle, Wash.-based company also wishes to provide media and entertainment content, and has already begun doing so through Amazon instant video and the Amazon App store.

US-based Rooftop Media specializes in producing comedy content for the web, and prides itself on "creating new revenue and career opportunities for performing artists," according to the company's website. Rooftop Media records comedians at live events and then licenses the content for live broadcast or on-demand viewing. The firm's partners include Apple, Pandora, Spotify, Yahoo and Rdio.

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According to Reuters, Amazon-owned audiobooks service Audible will pick up Rooftop Media, merging the content portfolios of both companies.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Speaking to the publication, Audible founder and Chief Executive Donald Katz said the firm "had been attracted by Rooftop's content as well as its pool of comic talent."

In related news , Amazon revealed a weaker-than-expected Q3 financial report last week, and the poor reception of the Fire Phone has cost the online retail giant approximately $170 million in inventory and supplier expenses amid weak sales.

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