Amazon’s catalog of online streaming videos keeps growing. Amazon has announced licensing agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios to include hundreds of classic films and TV series for free streaming on its Prime Instant Video service.
With the new addition of MGM, Prime Instant Video now offers more than 18,000 movies and TV episodes. The deal with MGM will allow free viewing of movies such as “Terminator”, “Rain Man” and “Silence of the Lambs” for users of Prime Instant Video.
Recently, Paramount and Nickelodeon have joined this platform too, which shows growing popularity of the Amazon’s video streaming service. In July last year, Amazon has signed a similar agreement with NBC Universal Domestic TV for the 9000 film and TV series as well as with CBS corp. for 2000 episodes of TV shows.
“Our customers tell us they love having tons of movies and TV shows to choose from, which is why we are focused on adding even more titles to our already extensive Prime Instant Video library,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “MGM offers one of the most distinguished catalogs in all of Hollywood, and this deal will bring Prime Instant Video customers hundreds of new titles to enjoy on their Kindle Fire or any device compatible with Amazon Instant Video. Customers can enjoy favorites like The Silence of the Lambs, Dances with Wolves, Rain Man and The Terminator, as well as fan-favorite TV series like Stargate.”
Paramount Releases app for the Xbox 360
Paramount Studio announced its debut in the distribution of digital movies to the Xbox 360 platform through a streaming cloud app called UltraViolet.
The Xbox 360 app offers download of the current and older titles from Paramount catalog of movies using only the Microsoft console. To use this application you will need a Gold membership of Xbox as well as Paramount and UltraViolet account in case you want to buy movies.
Earlier this year, Paramount began selling digital movies directly from the Ultraviolet site with which users can download movies and keep a copy in the cloud.
Cable Companies in Radar
The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. Department of Justice has intervened the investigation of cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, among others, to see if they are acting unfairly towards online video services.
The Justice Department is conducting a comprehensive antitrust investigation of the big cable companies that offer both cable television service and broadband Internet, reports The Wall Street Journal. The report said the Justice Department has begun to challenge the cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner, and the officials of streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu.
The Justice Department is particularly interested in some key practices, such as the need for data caps, the speed of Internet subscribers and that require authentication.
Companies like Comcast are now beginning to diversify their existing television services on the web to keep people from canceling their subscriptions. Comcast Xfinity TV service is essentially a video library available on regular cable on demand set-top boxes, desktop web browsers, smart phones and tablets, almost identical to services like Netflix.
Interest of the Department of Justice is whether cable companies are unfairly crush competition from video streaming services and whether to limits the amount of video, audio and other data that users can download.
FCC to end Analog Signals
Approximately 12 million cable subscribers would loss access to their local TV stations if Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed system to eliminate a rule that requires cable operators to carry both the digital and analog signals of local broadcast TV stations comes into effect after Dec 12.
“With the majority of all households now enjoying digital services, the cable industry will maximize its bandwidth to provide innovative services that connect consumers to things they care about most,” said Michael Powell, a former chairman of the FCC who is now chief executive of the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.”
Powell added that “while some customers have yet to make the transition to digital, cable providers will continue to work hard to make that conversion as smooth as possible.”
FCC says the cost of set-top box that converts analog to digital signal is now so low it makes sense for cable companies to provide digital service.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) objected the rule and asked for another three years extension.
“Today’s FCC decision has the potential to impose negative financial consequences on small local TV stations that are a source for minority, religious and independent program diversity across America,” said Dennis Wharton, executive vice president of the National Assn. of Broadcasters. “If that is the outcome, millions of viewers will be the losers.”
The NAB is also argued that local broadcast stations would go bankrupt if cable subscribers stopped watching their channels.