Amazon inks deal with NBCUniversal

Faith Merino · July 28, 2011 · Short URL:

Selection is still lame, but Amazon Instant Video is on its way to being less lame

Days after Walmart announced its debut in the streaming video rental business, Amazon has decided to beef up its own game (which is good, considering a lot of the stories covering the Walmart news—my own included—made mention of Amazon’s service and its sucky selection).  So to make its selection less sucktastic, Amazon has just sealed a deal with NBCUniversal to bring a bevy of new movies to the Amazon Prime Instant Video arsenal.

The exact number of movies that NBCUniversal is adding to Prime Instant Video wasn’t disclosed in the statement, and Amazon couldn’t be reached for a comment, but titles will include such hits as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Elizabeth,” and more.  Lamer titles include “Babe,” “Flipper,” and “Jetsons—The Movie.” 

Last week, the eCommerce overlord announced a new deal with CBS to bring 2000 TV show episodes from 18 CBS series to Prime Instant Videos, bringing the total number of Prime Instant Videos to more than 8,000 movies and TV shows. 

Today’s announcement brings the Prime Instant Video total to 9000 movies and TV shows—so if my calculations are correct, NBCUniversal just added 1000 new movies to Prime Instant Video.  Of that 9000, Amazon says more than 2000 are movies.

Earlier this month, Netflix renewed its contract with NBCUniversal, but with a slight tweak: 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.

So is it time to drop your Netflix subscription and hop on over to Amazon and get a Prime membership?  Hardly.  True: a Prime membership costs $79 a year, which breaks down to about $6.50 a month, compared to Netflix’s $7.99 a month for streaming-only (or DVD-only) service.  But if you want to watch new releases on Amazon Instant Video, you still have to fork over another $3.99 per movie. 

But if you already have a Prime membership (because you’re willing to pay $79 a month for free two-day shipping), congratulations!  You now have a whole bunch of free old movies to watch!


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