As Netflix continues to reign supreme after some of its detractors found their way back to the streaming service, competitors like Amazon Prime Instant Video are looking for new ways to bring subscribers to their content. Recently, Amazon inked a deal with MGM Studios for some classic movies and now the company has locked up deal, including a brief exclusivity, on a couple of popular shows. Amazon announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Warner Bros to bring West Wing, Dark Blue, Fringe, Alcatraz and The Whole Truth to the Amazon Prime's Instant Video streaming service.
Amazon also said that both West Wing and Fringe will be accessible only to Prime subscribers for the summer and will not be available to any other competitor until the leaves start changing color. The fun part is that these shows will also be available for non-Prime viewers after the summer, something which is usually reserved for less-recent titles on Instant Video. Of course, also after the summer we will see these shows end up on Netflix and possibly Hulu but it is refreshing to see Amazon act in a proactive manner and provide the content for the first time through a legal streaming service.
Brad Beale, Amazon's digital video and content director, said,
Since launching Prime Instant Video, we've continued to expand both the quantity and quality of video content for our Prime members. Bringing Fringe and The West Wing - two shows with a devoted fan base - to Prime Instant Video first, is another way for us to add value for Prime members and to continue to give customers content they love.
While this isn't necessarily a ground-breaking thing for those who are for or against Amazon, this is another deal that the company has made to keep pushing their catalog of 18,000 videos into the 20,000-and-beyond range. So the question remains: is $79 a year for both free two-day shipping on Amazon.com and 18,000 videos worth it? Or are you still on a Netflix account paying $7.99 a month (for streaming) for 60,000 shows and movies? Let us know in the comments section and tell us if you will be making the switch for these shows.