Amazon has strengthened its content licensing agreement with CBS today, adding both popular and classic TV shows from CBS Television Distribution and Showtime Networks to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service.
The new content that will be available to Prime members for the first time includes America’s Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond, Jericho, The L Word, Undercover Boss and United States of Tara, among others. This will be joined by a number of long-standing and influential TV shows such as Star Trek, Medium, The Tudors and I Love Lucy.
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The expanded agreement will see all of this content available for Prime members to stream on all the service’s existing platforms including the Kindle Fire (and HD Variant), iPad, iPhone, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U apps.
It follows a similar announcement from Amazon earlier this week, which revealed that it had obtained the exclusive rights to stream the CBS summer series Under The Dome, produced by Stephen Spielberg and based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel.
Amazon and Netflix are both moving incredibly quickly at the moment to try to snap up the rights for new and upcoming content. The latter grabbed the spotlight recently after launching its own exclusive series, House of Cards, which is available right now as a complete series in the US, Europe and South America. Amazon in turn announced last December that its media production arm, Amazon Studios, would be shooting six pilot episodes for release on Instant Video, the most popular of which will be commissioned into a full series.
Exclusive and in-house content is only one part of the territorial battle taking place between these streaming services though. Netflix signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with Walt Disney last year, making it the only US subscription service with permission to show first-run, live-action and animated films from the studio. That deal covers all of the company’s theatrical releases from 2016, including new Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature titles.
LoveFilm, the UK-based TV and movie streaming service owned by Amazon, also announced a partnership with NBC Universal International TV Distribution last month, snapping up on-demand access to a bundle of American TV shows including the US version of The Office and 30 Rock.
Not everyone has adopted a video streaming service just yet. Many homeowners are still undecided, waiting to see which service fails or offers an overwhelmingly superior array of TV shows and movies. Both Amazon and Netflix will be aware of this, which is why they’re desperate to sign as many licensing deals as possible over the next few months. The danger is that in the rush to gain exclusivity on many of our favorite properties, users will be left picking between two incomplete libraries.