Amazon adds depth to Prime with MGM deal

thirtysomething

Amazon announced a key step in building out the programming library for its Prime Instant Video service Wednesday with the addition of several hundred MGM movies and TV show episodes.

Also read: MGM adds Rocky, Terminator, 600 titles to YouTube catalog

The agreement with MGM, holder of one of Hollywood’s most valuable libraries of older movies and TV shows, increases Amazon’s streaming catalog depth to about 18,000 films and episodes — not quite at the level of Netflix’s 60,000, but growing fast.

The MGM deal adds well-known film titles including Dances With Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man and The Terminator. As important, it bolsters Prime’s depth in the area of TV re-runs, which has been a key selling point for rival Netflix.

TV series added to the mix include ABC’s ’80s-era baby-boomer classic Thirtysomething, Showtime series Dead Like Me and syndicated action hours Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.

For now, Amazon’s subscription instant video service remains an add-on feature for those who pay $79 year for the online retailer’s Prime offering, which gives customers free shipping on merchandise.

But Amazon is reportedly interested in opening up the service to non-Prime members, and more effectively using its streaming business to support sales of its Kindle Fire tablet. Building out a robust programming library is key part of that process.

With a deal announced two weeks ago to stream films from Paramount Pictures, Amazon has now licensed programming from each of Hollywood’s major studios.

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