Amazon on Tuesday announced that it had signed an agreement with EPIX, which is a joint venture of the movie studios Lions Gate, Paramount and MGM, to distribute its roster of blockbuster movies through Amazon Prime, the online retailer’s streaming content service for members.
The deal with EPIX brings blockbuster titles like “The Avengers” and “The Hunger Games” as well as older titles and some original programs to Amazon Prime Instant Video, which is a free streaming service for members of Amazon Prime, Amazon’s $79-per-year membership program that also includes free two-day shipping on certain items. Amazon also offers certain streaming content to non-Prime members for rental or purchase through the Amazon Instant Video store.
Over the last several months, Amazon has signed similar deals with the likes of Warner Bros. and MGM, as the online retailing giant takes aim at rival Netflix’s dominance of the market for streaming media.
"We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Prime Instant Video library for our customers. We have now more than doubled this selection of movies and TV episodes to over 25,000 titles in just under a year," Bill Carr, vice president of video and music at Amazon, tells The Wall Street Journal.
Netflix, meanwhile, saw its shares dive nearly 10 percent as a result of the news, as the announcement came just after EPIX’s exclusive streaming agreement with Netflix came to an end. Its shares are now down 22 percent so far this year.
Netflix also recently forecast a loss for the fourth quarter thanks to slow growth from its online video service and costs associated with expanding into international markets. In April, the company said it had more than 60,000 titles in its content library.