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September 06, 2012

Amazon's New Partnership with Epix Puts Extra Strain on Netflix's Struggling Cashbooks

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Following a new licensing deal with Epix,’s (News - Alert) Internet Library is gaining more popularity and threatening to topple the supremacy of Netflix in a dynamic market that is bound to transform the entertainment industry.

Netflix Inc, the company that outdid Blockbuster Video with a little help from Coinstar’s Redbox, may not be invulnerable at all, comments Seeking Alpha. Amazon has targeted Netflix’s exclusive Internet rights the latter had on Epix. According to a deal, unveiled on Tuesday, Amazon will now be able to show the same content as Netflix.

Netflix has been enjoying an allowance to feature movies from Paramount, MGM and Lions Gate 90 days after they appear on Epix’s pay-TV channel, a deal which ended on 31st August leaving such rights subject to contest with by other Internet video services. It was after Netflix released its exclusive rights to Epix that Amazon pounced on the opportunity.

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The hotly contested Epix Library supposedly includes streaming rights of about 2,000 movies including the recent hits, The Hunger Games and The Avengers. The ability to stock a good deal of movies straight from the production houses has made partnerships with Epix gold mines for Internet video provider companies. Inc. boasts more than 25,000 movies and episodes from old TV series, that is twice the number Amazon boasted last September. However, the number does not compare favorably with rivals Netflix, who though do not publicly disclose a figure, are rumored to have over 60,000 titles in stock.

With Netflix already struggling with a sales slump, experts believe that the company’s loss of exclusivity in Epix’s content is going to steep the fall. Netflix has seen its stocks fall after it increased the price of its combined subscription to Internet video and DVD-by-mail services by as much as 60 percent.

With Amazon’s more lucrative deal on the line, there is reason to fear that some households will cancel subscriptions that cost $96 annually in favor of the less expensive Amazon’s plan that is now bound to offer almost an equal amount of content for less.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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