Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix’s Biggest Movies, Now on Amazon

In the last year, Netflix lost its digital distribution deals with Sony and Disney. Which means if you’re watching a newish movie on the streaming service right now, there’s a very good chance it came from Epix, a pay-movie channel that supplies films from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.

And now, if you watch movies from Amazon’s “Prime Instant Video” service, you can see the same movies, including hits like “Iron Man 2,” “Thor” and “Captain America.”

Amazon announced a new “multi-year licensing agreement” today, just a few days after Netflix’s exclusive deal with Epix expired.

Netflix has already made Wall Street well aware that it was losing its exclusive, while downplaying the importance of the deal. Of course, it was more excited about it a couple years ago.

Netflix still gets its hands on the same movies, and will likely have them through 2015.

Epix, controlled by cable giant Viacom, is likely to be as promiscuous as it can with its newfound freedom. Look for the same movies to play a major role in the Verizon/Redbox video service set to launch this fall.

Meanwhile, Amazon, as you may have heard, has an event coming up on Thursday, where it will have new hardware to show off. Nice to have new content to play on those boxes, too.

PS: Since it’s the season, here’s some bonus fact-checking for you:
Claim:Amazon’s release says the deal brings “popular new release movies including The Avengers, Iron Man 2, The Hunger Games, Super 8, Thor, True Grit and more for Prime members to instantly stream at no addition cost.”
Truth: Almost, but not quite. Lionsgate’s megahit “The Hunger Games” will eventually get to Amazon Prime, as well as Netflix. But right now the only way to get your hands on the movie (legally) is to buy or rent it. Meanwhile, you can’t get “The Avengers” anywhere.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google