In last week’s earnings call, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) said it will continue to push hard into streaming video. Now, in a new licensing deal with Disney-ABC (NYSE: DIS) Television Group, Amazon Prime members can stream shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and Spider-Man for free.
The agreement with Disney-ABC appears somewhat limited for now. It includes prior seasons of Grey’s Anatomy; all seasons of Lost; prior seasons of Phineas & Ferb; prior seasons of The Secret Life of the American Teenager; prior seasons of Marvel’s animated shows Spider-Man, X-Men Evolution, Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers and Iron Man: Extremis; all seasons of Greek; and all seasons of Felicity.
Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) also renewed its licensing agreement with Disney-ABC today, which includes more shows than Amazon’s deal–Desperate Housewives, Alias, Private Practice and Hannah Montana, for example.
Amazon Prime Instant Video’s most recent deal added around 1,000 PBS titles to its library, bringing the number of titles available for free streaming to about 12,000. In today’s announcement (release), Amazon’s director of video content acquisition Brad Beale said, “We’re working hard to add even more selection for Kindle Fire customers and Prime members leading up to the holidays, and expect to have nearly 13,000 titles available in Prime instant video by early next year.”
Amazon Prime Instant Video is available free to Amazon Prime members, who pay $79 a year for two-day shipping. Kindle Fire buyers will get 30 days of Amazon Prime for free, which Amazon hopes will get them hooked on free streaming video. Today’s announcement stresses the “300 compatible devices, including the new Kindle Fire” that can stream Prime Instant Video. In the company’s earnings call last week, CFO Tom Szkutak said customers “absolutely love” Prime Instant Video and that many are signing up for free 30-day Prime trials, then converting to paid memberships.