Amazon and Netflix Announce New Streaming Content

September 26, 2011

It’s another chapter in the digital video war. Both Amazon and Netflix announced new content deals today. Netflix just announced a deal with Dreamworks Animation, the makers of Shrek and Madagascar. Amazon, on the other hand, announced on their website that they will be offering a number of Fox TV shows and movies as part of their all-you-can watch Prime service (see below).

The Netflix deal is significant since it gives them access to first-run films starting in 2013. “First-run” means that the films will be available on Netflix streaming at the same time they hit Pay-Per-View on your cable system. Keep in mind that Dreamworks Animation released three films this year. Update: Netflix has confirmed we will not see the existing Dreamworks content till 2013 as well (Sorry Shrek!)

On Friday, Dish announced a video streaming option as part of their new “Blockbuster Total Access” package (but only if you subscribe to Dish). It was another example of cable and satellite operators looking to challenge Netflix and other video streaming services on their differentiator of convenience (but not on price). Netflix’s deal shows their willingness to challenging cable and satellite’s differentiator of content. According to the New York Times, the Dreamworks deal with Netflix replaces “a less lucrative” one with HBO.

Amazon has been slowly but surely building up its streaming catalog. The FOX shows coming to Amazon are already on Netflix streaming. The X-Files, 24 and Arrested Development are a few of the shows that will be available on both services. Amazon did score The Wonder Years which has not been available on any other video streaming service (Update: While this was in the Amazon announcement, it turns out that Netflix also has The Wonder Years). It’s another sign that Amazon is looking to challenge Netflix but they still have a long way to go to catch-up to the size of Netflix’s library. Our streaming comparison will show you how many titles are available on each service.

Update: We re-ran the Amazon and Netflix streaming numbers today and updated the streaming comparison. Without the Fox content being added, Amazon has 2,226 Movies and 9,355 episodes (714 TV Seasons) for a total of 11,581 titles. Netflix has 9,906 movies and 35,952 episodes (3,318 TV seasons) for a total of 45,858 titles.

Amazon-Fox Prime Announcement 

Tags: Amazon, cable, HBO, Netflix

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