Posted by Nicholas Rapp on September 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm
Did you ever wonder how Netflix earned the legitimate right to stream so many movies for your viewing pleasure? Did you ever wonder why other movie/television websites pale in comparison? Unless you’re a businessman attempting to start a video streaming site of your own, I would assume you haven’t ever really wondered. I hadn’t. Why? Because Netflix has never been very loud about the importance of its partnerships with television channels. Let’s be real – have you ever heard of EPIX?
EPIX is the premium cable channel responsible for the TV output of tens of thousands of titles from MGM, Lionsgate, and even Paramount. Movies that have aired on Epix’s TV station should very well be available to stream on Netflix. In 2010, Netflix signed an agreement with EPIX, garnering the rights to stream these TV shows and films for one billion dollars. This contract made these titles available to Netflix for five years, but exclusive to Netflix for only two. Guess what folks: It’s September of 2012, and that exclusivity timed out at the end of August.
Netflix has in fact built up quite a rapport within these past two years, being the reason why many today buy an Apple TV, and for others the reason why not to buy a TV at all. As far as company names are concerned, Netflix is about as familiar to the public as any name could be, and streaming from their site has become comfortable. We streamers like the familiar aesthetic of Netflix’s page; the strong red background, and the way films are rated upon how they might appeal to us personally. So whom does Netflix really have to fear now that their exclusivity with EPIX has expired? What company name could possibly match that of Netflix’s in size, importance, and familiarity if it were to work alongside EPIX?
Amazon. “The cable company said earlier this year that it was opening the bidding to other players, like Amazon, once the two-year exclusivity clause in its five-year deal with Netflix expired at the end of August” said Brent Lang of TheWrap. Netflix really should worry, as Amazon’s new deal with EPIX will give Prime members the ability to stream over twenty-five thousand films and television episodes. At seventy-nine dollars a year, Amazon Prime is a very good deal. Worse yet for Netflix – all those college kids who don’t have a tv and just stream Netflix, like me, get Amazon Prime for free for two years. So what will cost efficient college students do to have access to EPIX’s titles? Will we pay Netflix’s monthly rate, or will we get them for free with our student membership to Amazon Prime? We’ll have to see about those twenty-five thousand titles.