Popular movie releases will now be just a click away 90 days after the titles hit the shelves in stores. Amazon has signed a deal with EPIX to bolster its offering of streamable mainstream movies like The Hunger Games and The Avengers.
EPIX serves in part as a distribution arm from the collaboration among partners including Paramount Pictures, Metro-Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and Lionsgate to license its titles. Previously, it had an exclusive deal with Netflix, but when that recently expired, EPIX was on the market for a new partner to offer its premium TV and movie content.
Today’s announcement of the deal between Amazon and EPIX will add thousands of new releases, original programming and classic films to its library. Iron Man 2, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Thor, Kick Ass, Paranomal Activity 2, and even the comedy show, Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell will be included in Amazon Prime Instant.
Prior to its EPIX partnership announcement, Amazon just last week announced that it had 22,000 shows and movies, and the EPIX deal appears to add just 3,000 titles to Amazon Prime. But even at 25,000 films and television programs, the size of Amazon Prime Instant’s s catalog pales in comparison to Netflix’s 60,000 titles. And Netflix customers won’t have much to worry about for at least another three years: Netflix will continue to stream the same EPIX video-on-demand titles until 2015.
A small cost difference reflects the disparity in programming. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year for Prime Instant, free two-day shipping, and a library of more than 180,000 books that can be borrowed through the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. In comparison, Netflix costs $7.99 per month for a total of $95.88 per year.
Amazon and Netflix aren’t just battling among themselves, either. EPIX is likely already in talks with Verizon and RedBox for the launch of the streaming service, Redbox Instant, later this year.