A licensing agreement with Viacom today puts Amazon ahead of Netflix in the number of titles available for on-demand streaming, signaling a sea change in the battle for Internet-based video content.
The Viacom agreement lets Amazon Prime members stream television shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT and Logo.
As a result of the deal, Amazon Prime members will have access to a library of more than 15,000 movies and television shows, all of which are available for streaming. The deal itself brought 2,000 new titles to the service.
Most significantly, the deal makes Amazon the leader in online streaming and a better option for those only interested in streaming content over the Internet.
According to an article today in The Kansas City Star, Netflix offers nearly 10,000 instant streaming videos. According to WorldTVPC.com, Netflix offers around 12,000 streaming videos. Both estimates fall short of Amazon’s streaming offering of 15,000. This being the case, for those interested in streaming only, Amazon is clearly the better option.
The key difference between the two companies is the subscription model. Where Netflix charges $7.99 monthly, Amazon bundles the streaming with its Prime service. Prime costs $79.99 a year and includes free two-day shipping of Amazon products, free access to books in the Kindle Owners Lending Library, and instant streaming of Amazon’s 15,000 streaming library.
So over the course of a year, Amazon Prime would save people money (Netflix streaming would cost roughly $96 over the course of a year), give them access to more streaming titles, plus add the additional shipping benefits and book-renting benefits.
Making matters worse for Netflix, the company’s deal with Starz is set to expire at the end of this month, with very little likelihood of rehashing negotiations. That means at the end of this month, Netflix will no longer offer movies from Disney or Sony.
For customers who use DVD by mail, Netflix is still a better option content-wise, as its library exceeds 100,000 titles.
Some of the new shows added as a part of the deal are:
The Hills, Jersey Shore, Basketball Wives, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, several seasons of The Real World, Chappelle’s Show, Strangers with Candy and The Sarah Silverman Program. For kids, Amazon brings Nickelodeon episodes of iCarly, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Yo Gabba Gabba, Avatar: The Last Airbender, along with TV Land’s, Hot in Cleveland.
Prime videos can be streamed on Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Roku, and select televisions, set-top boxes, and blu-ray players.