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.