Seemingly giving its streaming service an edge over Netflix and Hulu Plus, Amazon claims to have "more than 17,000 movies and television shows" on Amazon Prime Instant Video. After a little investigation, however, Fast Company reports that the total number of movies and TV shows available to Prime subscribers is actually far lower. “Only 1,745 movies are available to stream on the company's Prime service, and just roughly 150 TV series,” it finds. What’s more, “The ‘17,000’ figure is not only misleading to consumers, but a faulty indicator of Amazon's streaming library's strength versus competitors and traditional entertainment offerings.”
How did Amazon reach its imaginary number? By counting each and every episode of a TV series as an individual TV show, according to Fast Company. “For example, Amazon does not count 24 as one TV show; rather, it counts every episode in all eight seasons toward its library of 17,000 movies and television shows.” By this math, Fast Company adds, the average number of times a single TV series on Amazon's Prime service is counted toward its library is about 100.