Amazon's quest for world domination in the video streaming segment got a little boost on Thursday thanks to a partnership with NBCUniversal Cable & New Media Distribution. Members of the company's Prime Instant Video service will have exclusive unlimited subscription streaming access to prior seasons of several popular TV shows from NBC, SyFy and USA.
Prime Instant video offers more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes for Prime members at no extra cost. This content can be streamed to a number of devices including the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, among other connected TVs and devices. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year.
The new "exclusive" shows now added to the Prime Instant Video lineup include the weird but fascinating Grimm (available now), the awesome new psychological thriller Hannibal, which is based on Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (late 2013), the just-launched sci-fi drama series Defiance (early 2014), the legal drama Suits and the serialized spy thriller Covert Affairs (both available now).
In addition to those programs, Prime Instant Video has also landed NBC's Smash, and SyFy's Alphas, Eureka and Warehouse 13. Kindle FreeTime Unlimited will also get a dose of new content for kids including Curious George and Land Before Time.
"We listen carefully to our customers to find out which TV shows and movies they find the most entertaining," said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon. "Our expanded agreement with NBCUniversal gives Prime members access to even more exclusive content that they can stream instantly, at no additional cost. Compelling shows like Covert Affairs, Defiance, Grimm, Hannibal and Suits are big wins for our customers and we look forward to adding more titles soon."
The added content from NBCUniversal arrives after Amazon launched fourteen Amazon Originals TV pilots from Amazon Studios in late April. The lineup includes Zombieland, which is based on the hit movie; animated spook fest with a twist, Supanatural; and Betas, which is about a team of app developers, among others. All fourteen pilots are available exclusively on Prime Instant Video.
"For the past year the Amazon Studios team has collaborated with some of the best actors and writers in Hollywood to produce top-quality shows. Now we’ve handed the remote to our customers to hear what they think," said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. "In just a few days the pilots have received thousands of helpful and sometimes hilarious reviews. Keep the feedback coming—and help us decide which pilots will be turned into full series."
Amazon is heavily competing with Netflix and Hulu in regards to both original and third-party content. Like Netflix, Prime Instant Video is becoming its own pay-channel, only without the cable TV provider.