Advanced Television

Amazon and EPIX deal Netflix a blow

September 5, 2012

By Colin Mann

Raising the stakes in its battle for the digital entertainment sector with competitors such as Netflix, Amazon has followed up recent agreements with every major Hollywood studio, as well as top cable networks, by announcing a multi-year licensing agreement in the US with premium entertainment network EPIX.

The deal will add thousands of new releases, classic library titles and original programmes to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video offering. Programming from the agreement includes movies from EPIX studio partners, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and Lionsgate. The agreement between Amazon and EPIX will more than double the number of titles available with Prime Instant Video since Amazon introduced Kindle Fire last September. Prime Instant Video now stands at over 25,000 movies and TV episodes available to watch with instant, unlimited streaming at no additional cost to Prime members. Customers who are not yet Prime members can enjoy a free one month trial right out of the box with Kindle Fire.

This agreement between Amazon and EPIX will add new releases such as The Avengers, Iron Man 2, The Hunger Games, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Thor and Rango as well as popular favourites such as Kick Ass, Paranormal Activity 2, True Grit, The Lincoln Lawyer, and Justin Bieber Never Say Never. EPIX also brings original programming including comedy specials and concerts such as Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell and Usher: Live from London.

“We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Prime Instant Video library for our customers. We have now more than doubled this selection of movies and TV episodes to over 25,000 titles in just under a year,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of Video and Music at Amazon, noting that many of the popular EPIX titles were just recently in theatres. “We can tell from the data that our customers love watching movies on Prime Instant Video.”

Mark Greenberg, President and CEO of EPIX, said the partnership was yet another great example of EPIX’s ability to broaden its reach through a digital platform, underscoring the incredible value of the EPIX content offering.

Prime Instant Video offers Prime members access to more than 25,000 movies and TV episodes to instantly stream and enjoy at no additional cost on Kindle Fire or any of the hundreds of compatible devices, including Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 gaming console and the newest addition, iPad. Prime Instant Video is a subset of the more than 120,000 movies and TV episodes available on Amazon Instant Video, which includes new release movies and day after TV shows, for customers to rent or purchase.

Netflix shares were down 10 per cent in Tuesday trading on news breaking of the deal. Netflix’s exclusive deal with EPIX expired a matter of days ago. Investors have been concerned for several months that once EPIX was no longer exclusively available for streaming via Netflix, Netflix would lose some of its unique appeal to consumers. Amazon was up marginally on the session.


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