updated 06:15 pm EDT, Thu July 28, 2011
Offered free to Amazon Prime customers
Amazon has come to an agreement with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution to stream movies to its customers. Under the terms of the digital video licensing agreement, Amazon will now have access to selected movies distributed by the entertainment giant. The online retailer will be offering its Amazon Prime members the streamed motion pictures at no additional cost through its Prime Instant Video service.
Universal titles available to Prime customers will include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Elizabeth, and Being John Malkovich, among others.
Amazon went live with its streaming video service in February. The deal with NBCUniversal is the first major deal that Amazon has lined up. Up until now, most of its content has come from independent distributors. It now gives Prime customers access to over 2,000 streamed movies.
Netflix, which offers over 20,000 movies and TV shows is not too concerned about competition from Amazon. "We have vastly more streaming content, are available on more streaming devices and are purely focused on subscription video streaming," said Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings in his discussion of the company's latest financial results.
For the latest quarter, that ended June 30, Netflix reported revenues of $789 million, an increase of over 52 percent compared to last year.
The Amazon Prime membership program costs $79 annually. In addition to the free streamed content, subscribers also get free shipping on most items sold through Amazon.