In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The deal brings popular TV shows to Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime customers.
Amazon.com Inc. announced today a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution that will give the retailer’s Kindle Fire tablet users and Amazon Prime customers access to popular TV shows including "Dark Blue," "Alcatraz" and "The Whole Truth." Prime Instant Video will begin offering popular TV series "The West Wing" and "Fringe" to those customers exclusively this summer. After that, the shows may be offered by other digital video service providers, though Amazon will continue streaming them on Prime. Amazon did not say when the other titles would become available.
The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s tablet and e-reader device and Prime is the retailer’s annual membership program, which customers pay $79 per year to join and receive free two-day shipping on all purchases as well as unlimited access to Amazon’s more than 18,000 titles of streaming movies and TV shows along with access to its digital books library.
"Since launching Prime Instant Video, we’ve continued to expand both the quantity and quality of video content for our Prime members,” says Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “Bringing 'Fringe' and 'The West Wing'—two shows with a devoted fan base—to Prime Instant Video first, is another way for us to add value for Prime members and to continue to give customers content they love.”
Amazon Prime customers already have access to the company’s streaming video service; Kindle Fire owners receive one month free on purchasing the tablet. Any Amazon customer can try out Prime for free for one month by signing up on Amazon.com. Many devices beyond Amazon’s Kindle are compatible with Prime Instant Video streaming, including the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles.
“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,” says Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.