Amazon has inked a deal with News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox to stream Fox movies and TV shows on Amazon.com's instant streaming service, Amazon Prime.
The agreement will add 2,000 titles to Amazon Prime's library, a big boost for the streaming service. The titles will include popular TV shows Arrested Development, 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and The Wonder Years (which originally aired in the late 1980s and early 90s, and has previously been unavailable on digital video). Films included in the deal are Mrs. Doubtfire, 9 to 5 and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos made the announcement on the Amazon.com Web site Monday. In the statement, Bezos said adding Fox will bring the total to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows available for unlimited instant streaming.
When Amazon launched the $79-a-year Prime service in February, it had a catalog of about 5,000 titled. It later added additional content through licensing deals with CBS, NBC Universal, Sony and Warner Bros, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Customers who are not Prime subscribers can rent or purchase movies and TV shows through Amazon's Instant Video stream service, at prices that start at $3.99 for new releases.
The news of the Amazon-Fox deal comes a day after Netflix announced a licensing agreement to stream Dreamworks Animation movies and specials. Netflix won the bid from HBO, and the agreement is the first time a major Hollywood content supplier has opted for digital streaming over pay television.
We are really starting to see a long-term road map of where the industry is headed, Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told The New York Times. This is a game-changing deal.
You're seeing power moving back into the hands of content creators, Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, told the Times. When a company like DreamWorks ends a long-running pay TV deal - when a new buyer in the space steps up - that's a really interesting landscape shift.
Shares of the one-time Wall Street darling have fallen 50 percent in two months. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has apologized for failing to adequately explain business decisions that have alientaed customers, such as a surprise price hike in July. The company is struggling to regain the favor of customers and shareholders.
News of the deal drove Netflix's stock up nearly 7 percent to a high of $137.88 in early trade on Nasdaq on Monday.
Neither Netflix nor Amazon disclosed the financial terms of the respective agreements.
The additional titles will work towards closing the gap between the two content libraries, but Netflix -- with 20,000 titles to Amazon's 11,000 -- maintains a comfortable cushion.