Amazon.com, Inc. today announced an expanded content licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Cable & New Media Distribution, adding hundreds of popular and award-winning TV episodes to Prime Instant Video, including prior seasons of Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica and more.
FNL on Amazon Prime! It will be interesting to see if Amazon continues to beef up its Prime Instant Video offerings to compete with Netflix. Prime costs $79 a year, and most people who pay that, including me, do so for the free shipping, but the catalog of free media that comes with it certainly doesn’t hurt. Netflix costs $96 a year but has a much larger catalog — for now — and most of Amazon’s truly appealing content is sold a la carte. But if Amazon were to continue adding FNL-caliber content to Prime, it could become the first provider with attractive subscription and a la carte offerings.
Finally. It’s here in the App Store. I’ve been using Amazon Instant Video more and more and recently added Amazon Prime. (I paid the $79 for Prime mostly for the free shipping, but it didn’t hurt that I also get a limited library of free media to stream.) I view all of this stuff on my TV through a Roku box, but it will be nice to also have the option of watching on my iPad.
The best feature of the new app is offline viewing, something I wish had for the flights I recently took across the country. (That would be an amazing feature for Netflix to offer, though I assume their content licenses prohibit it.) The app even syncs your viewing across devices like Kindle: start a movie on your big screen and pick it up where you left off on your iPad.
The biggest drawback to Amazon Instant Video for iPad, Peter Kafka notes, is that you can’t purchase new content, just view stuff you’ve already purchased or rented. Blame Apple for that.