Gunning for content-rich rivals like Netflix, Amazon just reached a major licensing deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Among hundreds of other classic films and TV shows dating back to the ‘80s, Amazon can now lure potential video-on-demand subscribers with "The Terminator," "Rain Man," and "The Silence of the Lambs."
“We are focused on adding even more titles to … Prime Instant Video library,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon.
In total, Amazon’s VOD service now features more than 18,000 movies and TV episodes, which subscribers can instantly stream on their various devices.
By contrast, VOD leader Netflix boasts more than 60,000 movies and TV shows, but Amazon is steadily working to shrink the divide.
The company, which rose to prominence selling products -- rather than “renting” them -- has recently forged licensing partnerships with Paramount, Disney and Fox. Easing Amazon’s effort, studios like MGM are increasingly desperate for alternative revenue streams, as the Web’s rise has cut into the sale of DVDs.
For that reason, MGM already has deals in place with Netflix, YouTube and other digital distribution leaders.
As it currently stands, the deal with Amazon excludes MGM’s library of older classics, including "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind." Rights to those particular titles are presently controlled by Warner Bros.
Amazon Prime costs subscribers $79 a year, and includes unlimited free two-day shipping on physical products, as well as immediate access to digital content.