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Amazon Takes 24 away from Netflix

Apr 2 2014, 8:31am CDT | by

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Amazon Takes 24 away from Netflix
 
 

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Amazon Takes 24 away from Netflix

With just over a month to go before, arguably, the most ambitious television experiment of the season premiers, FOX is taking steps to ensure it’s getting the most bang for its buck out of 24: Live Another Day and in doing so, it just helped Amazon strike its first noticeable blow against its main digital competitor, Netflix. Fans and non-fans hoping to catch-up on all 8 previous seasons of the acclaimed series were awoken to a surprise yesterday morning in the form of news the series had been removed from Netflix where it’s been available since 2010 in full, in favor of FOX signing a deal for digital rights to the series with Amazon. The new deal will see all 192 current episodes (plus the TV movie, 24: Redemption) maintained exclusively with Amazon, as well allow the service to be the sole digital home for the 12 episode Live Another Day later in 2014. With this move, Amazon has just staked its first major claim in their battle for streaming supremacy with Netflix.

Whether its exclusive rights or original content programming, Amazon has always been a step behind Netflix. While the reasons for that are many, a main one being the scope of Amazon’s operation not only existing within the realm of streaming video where as Netflix’s entire business model is based on the idea, it’s clear Amazon’s been looking for an ace in the hole for a while. Things had gotten interesting last year when the service became the exclusive home of CBS’s Under the Dome and NBC’s Hannibal, two series with rabid fan bases that instantly flocked to the service. But thanks to 24, Amazon just pulled a move straight from Netflix’s operations guide.

One of the major plays that put Netflix on the map a few years ago was its acquisition of LOST in 2009. The reason binge-watching become a thing was do heavily in part to audiences’ desire to watch the hit, serialized, ABC series from beginning to end in a condensed format, and Netflix made that possible. Now, with 24: Live Another Day on the horizon, and audience desire to binge-watch another cultural phenomenon high, Amazon is seizing an opportunity to make themselves competitive in a way their original programming has not.

One of the things that have prevented Amazon Prime from taking over is the way Amazon’s store operates. People don’t have to sign-up for Prime in order to watch any of the company’s programming thanks to an à la carte approach to content. But with the exclusive acquisition of 24, people will have a reason to sign-up for Prime. They will have a reason to binge-watch through the service because it will cost them double the amount to go the à la carte route in order to catch-up in time for Live Another Day’s May premiere.

Will this move take away subscribers from Netflix? No. But it will give some consumers who have held off on Amazon Prime a reason to join up, especially with May 5th not that far away. 24 is Amazon’s LOST. It’s the company’s golden ticket to a surge in subscribers, something it desperately needs in order to remain competitive as it signs more and more heavy hitters to development deals through Amazon Studios. If the goal of this FOX deal with Amazon Prime was to make Netflix shake just a little bit, the online giant succeeded on Tuesday.

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
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