Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has taken the chance to enhance their digital video store with a new deal that would expand their Amazon Prime catalog. The company just announced a deal with Warner Brothers Domestic Television, that would allow them to offer more television shows in their content offering catalog.
Just last month, Amazon signed up for a deal with MGM that included a wide array of movies, and television show offerings. Right now, Amazon Prime Instant Video has over 18,000 movies and television shows that are available for streaming. Amazon Prime subscribers, who pay the yearly fee of $79.00 to get free two-day shipping, can also access the streaming catalog for free.
Due to their enormous popularity, television shows Fringe and West Wing will be available exclusively through Amazon this summer. The director for Amazon’s video content for Prime members, Brad Beale, explained, “Since launching Prime Instant Video, we’ve continued to expand both the quantity and quality of video content for our Prime members. Bringing Fringe and The West Wing – two shows with a devoted fan base – to Prime Instant Video first, is another way for us to add value for Prime members, and to continue to give customers content they love.”
Amazon’s major expansions for the Prime catalog shows just how serious they are about competing with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Hulu, which are two other popular websites that allow people to stream unlimited movies and shows for a small price. Since Amazon leads the online shopping industry, it only makes sense they would want to lead the video streaming industry.
Just last winter, Amazon introduced their Prime Instant Video service as a way to give their customers another incentive to join Prime, especially if they thought Amazon charged an expensive price for a shipping service they might hardly ever use.
It’s a great thing to know that Amazon is beefing up their Prime Instant Video catalog, but this is sure to mean one thing: higher prices. Amazon will probably hike up the price of Prime. I think a smarter move would be to offer a separate service for Prime users who don’t want to pay the annual fee. Not only would that increase their customer base, but it would also entice Netflix users to switch over. I doubt they will do that anytime soon, but it’s something they should consider. Internet streaming is slowly taking over the movie rental market, and that segment will only continue to grow. Amazon is one of the few companies who is trying to capitalize in a market that’s adapting to these changes, by offering more of what customers want.