Don’t Look Now; Here Comes Amazon

Netflix. YouTube. Hulu. Anyone who streams video content from the Internet probably is aware of these big three sources of television shows and movies. But a lot of people don’t think of Amazon quite as quickly. The company has steadily been beefing up its streaming capabilities and building its content library. And yesterday, Amazon made a big announcement. The company has announced a deal with Discovery to add many of their hit shows to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video catalog. Here’s a quote from Amazon’s home page:

Today we’re announcing our biggest addition yet, bringing nearly 3,000 more titles to Prime Instant Video. We’ve struck a deal with Discovery Networks to bring some of the highest quality, non-fiction, informative and entertaining content about the world to our Amazon Prime customers. Rolling out over the next few weeks are TV shows from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science. Prime members, at no additional cost, can now stream more than 17,000 titles. The new titles include hits such as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Gold Rush: Alaska, and Shark Week, TLC series like Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss, as well as content like How It’s Made from Science, and The Jeff Corwin Experience from Animal Planet.

This means that these shows can be viewed at no extra cost by subscribers to Amazon’s Prime program. And they can watch them on a wide range of devices including computers, smartphones, and of course, the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Now, Amazon’s total of 17,000 titles is still pretty small, but this announcement shows that they have the resolve to pay for brand-name content that appeals to a broad range of audiences. And it shows that they’re ready to expand the catalog in big chunks. And as more people find out about Prime Instant Video and what it has to offer for $79 a year, they may look twice at what they’re spending each month for Hulu Plus or even Netflix. Especially when they also get free two-day shipping on many Amazon purchases.