Amazon today announced that it has struck a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to bring more TV shows to its Prime Instant Video catalog. Among these new shows are The West Wing, Fringe, Dark Blue, Alcatraz and The Whole Truth. According to Amazon, both Fringe and The West Wing will be available exclusively on Prime Instant Video for the summer. In total, Amazon’s subscription video streaming service now feature about 18,000 movies and TV episodes. With Amazon Instant Video, the company also features about 120,000 titles that users can purchase or rent.
Prime Instant Video is mostly meant as an extra perk for subscribers to Amazon’s $79/year two-day shipping service. In addition to “free” access to the streaming video library, users also get to borrow books for their Kindle devices.
In a canned statement, Ken Werner, the president of Warner Bos. Domestic Television Distribution acknowledges that digital distribution is going to become increasingly important to his business. “As more and more television content is enjoyed by fans across a myriad of subscription channels and platforms and on numerous devices from televisions to tablets, deals such as this give consumers the opportunity to discover, catch-up, or simply enjoy a favorite series again and again.”
Almost exactly a year ago, Amazon also announced that it had reached deals with CBS and NBCUniversal to bring about 11,000 movies and TV shows to its Prime service. Despite these deals, though, Amazon’s Prime catalog still remains relatively small compared to Hulu’s and Netflix’s.