While Netflix is fighting to stay in the online streaming game by partnering with DreamWorks, Amazon has announced some new upgrades to its own subscription digital video service. The e-commerce overlord announced Monday that it has sealed a deal with Fox to add 2,000 new titles to Amazon Prime Instant Video this fall, bringing the total number of titles in the Prime arsenal to 11,000. Sadly, that doesn't include Glee, which still costs $1.99 an episode to rent.
The company made the announcement first via a note from Jeff Bezos on Amazon’s home page, pointing out that Amazon Prime is still just $79 a year and includes free two-day shipping on all orders. The Prime subscription service differs from Amazon Instant Video, which has a greater selection of new releases starting at $3.99 for a one-time streaming rental.
Amazon declined to give me a precise figure for its Prime subscriber base, but a company spokesperson said that Prime now has “millions” of subscribers.
The new deal not only gives Amazon Prime a huge boost in numbers, but it adds a pretty awesome selection of TV series to Prime’s current stock, including The X-Files, 24, Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, NYPD Blue, Ally McBeal, and—available for the first time on digital—The Wonder Years. The movie titles aren’t as fantastic (Mrs. Doubtfire, Dr. Dolittle, Speed), but they’ll get the job done on those occasional Thursday nights when you really just feel like watching a good old fashioned Keanu Reeves action flick.
Amazon has been on the move the last few months to get more competitive in the digital movie rental scene, announcing new content partnerships with NBCUniversal and CBS in July. Netflix also renewed its contract with NBCUniversal in July, but not for the better: no more next-day “Saturday Night Live” streaming. From now on, SNL, like all other NBC shows Netflix streams, will only stream episodes from past seasons.
Since the launch of Prime Instant Video in February, Amazon says it has doubled its selection of titles to 11,000.
Last month, Amazon announced that its entire Instant Video library (which includes the Prime library) has grown to more than 100,000 movies and TV shows—five times the streaming selection Netflix offers.