Amazon has entered a new deal with movie studio joint venture EPIX that will let Prime members watch new movies like The Hunger Games, The Avengers and Iron Man 2 for free on Prime Instant Video. Previously, Netflix (NFLX) had exclusive rights to EPIX recent releases.
EPIX, which includes a premium TV channel and video-on-demand service, is a joint venture from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and Lionsgate. The agreement includes “new releases such as The Avengers, Iron Man 2, The Hunger Games, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Thor and Rango as well as popular favorites 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.”
Prime members pay $79 per year for unlimited two-day shipping and other perks, like streaming video. With the EPIX deal, Amazon says the Prime Instant Video library now contains over 25,000 movies and TV episodes. As of April, Netflix had over 60,000 streaming titles. Netflix’s exclusive deal with EPIX ended last month, but it too will stream movies like The Hunger Games and The Avengers 90 days after they’re released on EPIX VOD.
Amazon is holding a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday. It is widely expected to introduce new Kindles at the event, but the choice of location suggests that the company might also announce new streaming video deals that day.