Amazon and PBS announced today that additional programs from the PBS catalog will start to appear on Amazon Prime between now and the end of the year. Amazon Prime is a service similar to Netflix in that it provides a catalog of all-you-can-watch TV shows and movies. According to Amazon, most of the titles will be available in HD (720P).
This announcement is significant for several reasons:
- It shows that Amazon is also willing to go after first-run content for their all-you-can-watch Prime catalog. Netflix has put its toe in the water recently with various deals to provide first-run content including Kevin Smith’s Red State (just made available), House of Cards and Dreamworks Animation films starting in 2013.
- News programs were included as part of the deal. News programs have been devoid from video streaming services. In the Internet age, I don’t think folks are interested in watching such as The News Hour the next day. However, weekly news programs such as Frontline will be a draw for viewers. Update: It does not include next day viewing of popular series such as Downtown Abbey.
- This is yet another move to build up the self-reinforcing Amazon ecosystem. Amazon adds more titles to Amazon Prime. More folks sign up for Prime and get two-day free shipping. It also makes the new Kindle Fire tablet, where you can watch the shows, more attractive (Amazon Instant Video or Prime doesn’t work on the iPad or any iDevice). The end result of all of this is that you buy more at Amazon.