Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) continues to build out its Amazon Prime Instant Video service, this time with more than 2,000 movies and TV episodes from Twentieth Century Fox (NSDQ: NWS). Nothing first run or current but it ups the amount of video available through the $79 annual Amazon Prime membership by more than 20 percent. That’s a big leap, especially when Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) has put some of its subscribers in play and Dish is trying to woo its subs to the new *Blockbuster* Movie Pass.
Unlike Netflix and Hulu Plus, which stream across platforms and devices, Amazon’s subscription and a la carte instant video are limited to PCs and connected TVs or devices that stream to TV sets. Asked if the deal would extend to tablets, an Amazon rep reminded me that Amazon doesn’t offer instant video on mobile.
True but does Amazon need a new deal with Fox — or other content providers — to offer mobile access? No answer to that but it’s hard to believe a company led by the canny Jeff Bezos hasn’t figured out a way to ensure at least some streaming video access to buyers of an Amazon tablet, like the one we expect to have announced in NYC Wednesday at a press conference. It makes deals and pricing more complicated but it is an Achilles Heel, and an increasingly achy one that needs to be fixed.
That lack of mobile access stood out when we were updating our subscription streaming video chart over the weekend.
What’s included?: Movies in the multi-year deal are definitely library: Speed, Mrs. Doubtfire, Doctor Dolittle, classics All About Eve, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, etc. The TV shows are all off the air including usual suspects 24, The X-Files, NYPD Blue, Arrested Development and at least one piece of buried treasure, new to digital The Wonder Years.
Update: Barclay’s Anthony J. DiClemente, who pegs the payment at around $100 million a year, points out that Netflix has past seasons from some current Fox shows like Glee:
“Quality content is certainly more important than quantity in our view, and we believe Netflix still wins in both counts relative to Amazon. But, given the pace of Amazon’s new content partnerships and potential tablet launch, Prime instant video remains a risk to Netflix.”