September 5th, 2012- The woes for Netflix just keep coming. Amazon.com announced on Tuesday they had signed a huge licensing deal with EPIX that brings several major new releases to Amazon Prime Instant Video. The new deal gives Amazon Prime users instant free access to thousands of recent releases online including titles like The Hunger Games, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers.
Although EPIX, which is a joint venture of MGM, Lionsgate, Viacom, and Paramount, had entered into a deal with Netflix in 2010, worth around $200 million-per-year, it is set to expire later this month opening the door for Amazon. News of the deal hit Netflix hard Tuesday morning as Netflix shares took a 10 percent hit.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers such popular EPIX titles, many of which were just recently in theaters,” says Bill Carr, Vice President of Video and Music at Amazon in a press release. “We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Prime Instant Video library for our customers.” The deal doubles the number of movies and TV shows available to users to 25,000 titles.
Access to Amazon’s Instant Video library is available to Amazon Prime members, who for $79 a year, can enjoy unlimited streaming movies and free two-day shipping. In addition, subscribers can stream the content on their Amazon Kindle Fire tablets.
This deal makes service with Netflix more competitive as Amazon Prime costs $79 per year, while Netflix is $7.99 a month ($96 per year). News of this deal could also be a major selling point for the next generation Kindle Fire Tablets, which are rumored to be released later this week.