Back in February, as the streaming-video market started to heat up in a big way, we posted an article headlined “3 Ways for Amazon to Grow Its Instant Video Business.” No. 3 on that list was adding more content. It looks as though Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which recently announced a licensing agreement with Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), is determined to check that one off its to-do list.
Price is one way to compete on any service, but with all-you-can-stream monthly fees from most services coming in at under 10 bucks, it’s becoming increasingly difficulty to compete based on that factor alone. It’s highly unlikely that consumers will leave Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and it’s $7.99-per-month service for a cheaper version from Amazon based solely on saving a few dollars a month.
When it comes to online video, content is king. The bigger the library — the more content partnerships that can be inked — the more compelling the provider is for consumers. Perceived quality of the programming is also important; top rated shows are more likely to draw interest than a collection of relatively unknown shows that were cancelled after one season.
That’s why the licensing agreement between Discovery and Amazon is such a big deal. Discovery Communications is the company behind a wide range of popular cable TV channels, including Animal Planet, TLC and, of course, the Discovery Channel. Among the highly rated series this will bring to Amazon are “Mythbusters,” “Dirty Jobs,” “Shark Week, ” “Deadliest Catch,” and “Cake Boss,” making this what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is calling the biggest addition yet to his company’s streaming-video catalog.
According to TechCrunch, Amazon Prime customers will have access to series and specials from these channels and from Discovery Communications’ extensive, 25-year content library. In all, the agreement is expect to add an additional 3,000 titles to Amazon’s instant video service, bringing the grand total to 17,000 titles for streaming (as recently as December the total stood at 13,000), along with 120,000 titles available for rental or to buy. And perhaps just as important, the Discovery Communications content will help to silence critics who might accuse Amazon of racing to accumulate quantity over quality.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.