Amazon to go Head-to-Head with Netflix and Hulu with Amazon Prime

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Amazon, who has been planning its entry into the subscription-based streaming video market, and recently bought out Lovefilm for a rumoured £200 million in the UK, are now expanding Amazon Prime to include about 5,000 movies and TV shows at no added cost.

Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Fritz covered the story in the newspaper's Company Town blog:

Amazon has signed up two major studios, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. -- to provide older movies from their libraries -- along with 13 independent providers including the BBC, PBS, Magnolia Pictures, IFC and National Geographic.

The eclectic mix of content immediately available includes the movies "Hairspray," "The Human Centipede" and "Stripes" and the TV shows "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," "Bonanza" and "Farscape."

That's only a fraction of the content available to subscribers of Netflix, which has deals with every major film studio and a number of TV producers. Moreover, though most of Amazon Prime's content is more than a decade old, Netflix has much fresher titles, including movies less than a year old, thanks to deals with pay cable networks Starz and Epix.

Amazon, however, is in talks with every Hollywood studio and is said by people familiar with the matter to be seeking to grow its content selection with more and newer content.

Kiosk DVD rental company Redbox apparently also said it plans to launch a subscription video-streaming service, but with the help of a partner, which according to industry rumours is likely to be Amazon.

Amazon already offers more than 90,000 movies and TV shows for rental or purchase on a one-off basis and is allegedly in talks with every Hollywood studio.


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