Amazon strikes Disney-ABC deal, Netflix basically matches it

Amazon.com announced a content deal with Disney-ABC Television Group this morning, continuing to expand the catalog of streaming movies and TV shows available at no extra charge to members of its Amazon Prime subscription service.

Not to be outdone, Netflix simultaneously announced an extension of its existing ABC-Disney licensing agreement, involving streaming rights to many of the same shows, including Gray’s Anatomy and Lost.

The content race comes as Amazon gets set to release the Kindle Fire tablet on Nov. 15. The company is looking to boost interest in the $79/year Amazon Prime service to help make up for the low price of the tablet, which at $199 is believed to be selling for a loss. Jeff Be

Amazon says the portion of its Instant Video catalog available at no extra charge to Prime members will number 13,000 titles by the end of the year. The company last week added popular PBS programs to the catalog, the latest in a string of deals boosting the number.

Netflix said over the summer that Amazon’s streaming video service wasn’t a big threat to its own streaming business, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings pointed out has “vastly more streaming content.”  However, Netflix has been on the ropes lately with the whole Qwikster debacle, perhaps making it more vulnerable to competition from Amazon and others.

 

  • Guest

    I don’t understand how this is a “match,” Todd. Netflix charges $96 per year for their streaming service and there are no ancillary benefits on top of the streaming. Amazon charges only $79 per year, 17.708% less than does Netflix, and also offers free 2-day shipping on all physical-goods orders for that same price.

    You can call this a lot of things, Todd, but a “match” isn’t one. Consumers will look at the competition and make the correct choice.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Ah, but you missed the all-important weasel word “basically”! :) Seriously, of course I was referring to the fact that the content itself is essentially the same.

    • Anonymous

      And by correct choice I’m guessing you mean Netflix? I’ve been a Amazon prime member for years as well as a Netflix subscriber. Currently I can watch Netflix streaming on my Xbox, Wii, phone, and  PC. I can only watch Amazon on my PC since I would have to buy a separate device to get it on my TV. And there is way to watch Amazon on my phone.

      So until Amazon streaming is available on more devices and offers the same quantity/quality of content as Netflix it is not the obvious choice.

      • Warhammer

        I can guarantee you that Amazon’s next move will be to get applications on to PS3, 360, TVs, other hardware, etc… that will enable Prime members to watch their stuff. I’d be shocked if they were not up and running by mid-2012.

      • Warhammer

        I can guarantee you that Amazon’s next move will be to get applications on to PS3, 360, TVs, other hardware, etc… that will enable Prime members to watch their stuff. I’d be shocked if they were not up and running by mid-2012.

    • David Budalla

      The match they are talking about a contract extension match. I know it may be confusing, the article isn’t clear on details.  Netflix, like many other companies that have content under contract, usually have the right to extend their contracts with providers with the provision that they match, within contractual terms,  what another company may offer for the same content.

      Also, Amazon Prime is underpriced. It is propped up by the sales generated by product sales. I have noticed in the past couple of years that Amazon’s percentage markup has been pushed up a bit. It used to be Amazon was undercutting everybody, but that is no longer the case.

      Considering what cable companies charge for access to the same content, netflix is still a much better bargain, even if they are rather clueless about handling price increases.

  • BrentR

    Man, I’d love to see an up-to-date comparison of these services. Their partnerships, prices, etc., evolve so fast it’s a huge challenge for consumers to evaluate the offerings.

  • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

    I’ve never seen a brand take a plunge quite this quickly. Even New Coke made Classic Coke sales skyrocket.