A year ago I killed off my Netflix subscription in favor of on-demand through cable, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. It’s worked pretty well for me, but now I may have to reconsider.
Netflix just inked a deal with Warner Bros for exclusive online rights to several shows, including Revolution, Political Animals, Longmire, 666 Park Avenue, the new Kevin Bacon thriller The Following, and older shows Chuck, Fringe, and The West Wing, and “potential future shows”.
Netflix also announced in December a deal with Disney that includes Disney classics and new Disney live-action and animated features, covering Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Disneynature.
During the recent election, I marathon-watched all the seasons of The West Wing on Amazon Prime, so this deal may hit Amazon in some key spots. When Netflix lost their Starz deal last February, then followed that with some inane business moves, I pretty much wrote them off. These two new deals are definitely making me pay attention again.
While Netflix is once again becoming a player, the online content area is now becoming a battlefield. Yesterday HBO secured a 10-year deal with Universal to exclusively carry their content for TV, online and mobile platforms. The deal is actually a renewal, but the expiration date wasn’t until 2016. Basically this keeps the content off of Netflix and scores a win for a pay-cable station.
Additionally, Amazon has recently signed a deal with A&E to up their Amazon Prime content.
Are you watching online content? Is it in addition to cable or supplementing? I admit I don’t have a fancy cable package because Comcast’s Xfinity online service gives me access to shows, such as those on TNT, for which I don’t have a cable subscription. Additionally, Hulu lets me watch most (not CBS) of my favorite shows whenever and wherever I want, although there does seem to be a certain selection only accessible from my computer and not a mobile or other device. Finally, I’m using Amazon Prime to catch up, commercial free, on shows like Downton Abbey, The West Wing, Stargate SG-1, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Each online service provides something different for me but all of them can be accessed from my networked Blu-Ray player, my Tivo, or my Apple TV.