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Starting this summer, Amazon will add 2,000 episodes to grow the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 8,000 movies and television shows, and offer full seasons for 18 popular television series, including The Tudors, Numb3rs, Medium, the complete Star Trek franchise, Frasier and Cheers.
The deal is more or less a replica of the pact CBS and Netflix struck in February.
AllThingsD about the deal:
Amazon says the new titles will bring its streaming library up to 8,000 titles; Netflix boasts around 20,000 titles for its digital-only library. For now, Amazon’s Web video titles are free to customers who use its “Prime” delivery service, but industry observers assume that library access will also be a big part of the new iPad-like tablet the company is expected to unveil this fall.
Best-case digital scenario for big media players
AllThingsD continues that "the company gets to take old shows and resell them multiple times (and maybe more, as Microsoft, Apple, and others eye the market), and doesn’t have to worry about cannibalization.
Things get much trickier when consumers decide they want to watch current programing, though. That stuff continues to be worth much more to studios and networks when it runs on broadcast or cable TV, but convincing viewers to play along is getting increasingly difficult."