Amazon Prime is quickly rising in the ranks of online TV providers. Earlier this week, Amazon announced the addition of premium ESPN content to Prime Instant Video, giving Prime members access to the network’s hit sports shows and documentaries in addition to free two-day shipping on all orders (!!).
Amazon announced Friday that it’s adding even more content to its Prime offerings. The e-commerce overlord struck a deal with NBCUniversal Cable and New Media Distribution to add a bunch of new TV shows to the line-up, including past seasons of Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, and more. The new additions bring Amazon’s tally to 22,000 movie titles and TV episodes.
Amazon previously inked a deal with NBCUniversal this time last year to bring a boatload of movies to Prime’s arsenal, including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Elizabeth,” and “Babe,” as well as lamer titles like “Flipper” and “Jetsons—The Movie.”
Online video subscription services like Amazon Prime and Netflix aren’t getting very far with movies, but they’re quickly becoming a beautiful alternative to cable TV subscriptions. Amazon is going places with Prime, but it has a ways to go to catch up to Netflix, which has exclusive rights to some of the hottest shows on TV now, like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead (Michonne!!).
Netflix has also jumped ahead of the curve by focusing on original programming. David Fincher’s new series, House of Cards, is scheduled to debut on Netflix later this year.
If we learned anything from Glee, it’s that if you want to win Nationals, you have to come up with original material.
So does this mean we’re moving into a cordless future? That’s the million-dollar question, and everyone has a different opinion. NPD released a report earlier this week showing that 18% of all consumers are now watching online video on their TV, with some 25% watching multiple times a week.
But then again, only 1.05 million people cut the cord in 2011, out of 58 million basic video subscribers and 46 million digital video subscribers.
A big part of the problem is obviously the delay in fresh content, but another problem is the fact that premium networks like HBO simply aren’t jumping on the online video subscription bandwagon.
“While we compete for content and viewing time with HBO, it is also possible we will find opportunities to work together—just as we do with other networks,” Netflix said in a recent letter to shareholders. “Consumers who are passionate about movies and TV shows are quite willing to subscribe to multiple services.
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