The video subscription streaming war being waged between Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Netflix’s Reed Hastings got a little nastier yesterday with Bezos gaining access to 20th Century Fox’s TV and movies for Amazon’s Prime streaming service.
The deal, which covers 2,000 titles, is valued at $100 million.
The Street rewarded both companies with a small uptick in share price on a positive day in the markets. Netflix rose 2.2 percent to $132.22, while Amazon gained 2.8 percent to $229.85.
Among the titles headed to Amazon are TV shows such as “The Wonder Years,” “24,” “Office Space” and “The X-Files,” and movies such as “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
The deal brings the amount of content available to Amazon to around half that available on Netflix. Amazon also has deals with CBS, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Television among others.
The content deals come just in time to help market Amazon’s new low-cost tablet, reportedly called the Kindle Fire, which is being unveiled tomorrow.
Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente estimated that Amazon is paying somewhere around the $100 million mark for the Fox deal but notes that it does not include some on-air shows such as “Glee,” and “Sons of Anarchy,” that are part of Netflix’s package.
Paul Levinson, a media professor at Fordham University, said: “For Amazon and Fox, it’s a brilliant move. It helps them compete with Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble.”
Separately, news that Netflix signed its second content deal in the past week, this time with DreamWorks Animation, drew criticism from some quarters that Netflix overpaid. Netflix also tied with Discovery last week.
Time Warner’s HBO let DreamWorks Animation out of its deal early allowing it to tie with Netflix. The pact was to run until 2014. Netflix is estimated to be paying $30 million per movie which, if correct, is $10 million more than a reluctant HBO was paying, according to sources familiar with that deal.
Netflix consumers won’t see titles until 2013.