New Epix and Amazon Deal: Is it time to Get Amazon Prime?

As Netflix's exclusive deal with EPIX has expired, Amazon jumped at the opportunity to enter into a new multi-year licensing agreement with the cable channel content provider. The deal brings EPIX movies and original programming to Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming. The exciting aspect of the inclusion of the blockbuster and classic EPIX titles, is that Amazon Prime members can stream them for free.

The agreement includes movies from EPIX studio partners: Paramount, MGM, Viacom, and Lionsgate. The addition of the EPIX titles will more than double Amazon's Prime Video offering of over 25,000 movies and TV episodes. Popular titles like Iron Man 2, The Conspirator, and Super 8 are some of the first to show up among Amazon's free titles. Hunger Games, and The Avengers will follow soon.

Over the past 12 months, Amazon has announced agreements with every major Hollywood studio, as well as top cable networks. In a press release, Bill Carr VP of Video and Music at Amazon stated, "We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Prime Instant Video Library for our customers." Earlier this year Amazon struck a deal with Warner Bros to bring The West Wing, and Fringe TV shows.

About EPIX

EPIX was a forward-thinking company from the start. Unlike other cable channels that eschewed streaming video from the Internet, EPIX embraced the concept. EPIX offers cable/satellite channels and video on demand. It also offers its entire lineup of cable programming to streaming video to a number of devices including the Roku Box, Smart TVs, Xbox 360, and a number of media players. To watch EPIX content on devices, you must subscribe to its channel on your cable/satellite/telco TV service.

EPIX is not only partners with the previously mentioned studios, it's owned by them. This gives EPIX a huge library of classic films and new content. Classic franchises include Star Trek, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Woody Allen and more.

Similar to cable movie channels HBO and Showtime, Epix has creates its own original programming. "Original" is the operative word when describing EPIX documentaries. Gonzo Ballet is a documentary about choreographer Margo Sappington's dance interpretation of William Shatner's album Has Been performed by the Milwaukee ballet company. Another documentary written and directed by Shatner is The Captains. In this entertaining special, Shatner conducts tongue-in-cheek interviews with all of the actors who have played a captain on the various Star Trek series.

Other specials include comedy events with David Cross, Lewis Black, and a musical evening with Seth McFarlane and Sara Bareilles. Bon Jovi, Usher, and Coldplay are a few of the concerts that EPIX offers.

About Amazon Prime Instant Videos

Along with millions of products offered by Amazon, consumers can also buy or rent videos from the Amazon Instant Video service. Amazon Prime members can stream many of the same videos for free. For $79 per year, Amazon shoppers can enroll in the Amazon Prime membership program.

While the price is comparable with Netflix's $7.99 per month subscription, Amazon Prime members get added benefits. Amazon Prime offers free 2-day shipping on all eligible products you buy from Amazon (a majority of the products). Kindle owners also can borrow books from the a Kindle lending library.

Amazon Instant Video is available on a number of devices from Google TVs to Roku and Sony media players, Smart TVs, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Blu-ray players, and can be streamed directly to TiVo DVRs.