3,000 More Reasons for Netflix to Worry


If Netflix (NAS: NFLX) thinks that it can run away with the video-streaming buffet market, it may be time to call in the Mythbusters guys.

Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) is announcing today that it's adding nearly 3,000 more titles to its digital library after striking a deal with Discovery Communications (NAS: DISCA) .

The new selections include episodes from popular Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science shows. Amazon Prime members, at no additional cost, can now stream more than 17,000 titles, including hits such as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, and programs from Shark Week.

Netflix isn't necessarily shivering in its virtual boots. Netflix already has a deal in place with Discovery that it expanded back in September. All of those shows new to Amazon's streaming service have already been streaming through Netflix.

However, Amazon continues to close the gap with its cheaper offering.

Amazon has yet to roll out its instant streaming service as a stand-alone offering. It simply makes it available to existing members of Amazon Prime, the $79-a-year service that includes free two-day shipping on Amazon-warehoused goods and gives Kindle owners free monthly book rentals.

However, even with all of the bells and whistles, $79 a year is still less than $7.99 a month.

Netflix still has a far broader assortment of digital titles. It's also easily accessible across more Web-tethered devices. However, Netflix can't ignore the reality that Amazon gets stronger with every new deal.

Sure, we can poke holes in Amazon's math. It claimed to have 15,000 titles after inking a deal with Viacom (NYS: VIA) last month. Shouldn't it be closer to 18,000 titles now?

Then again, it's not as if Netflix can laugh at any content that may have expired on Amazon. The leading streamer is still reeling after losing the newer retail releases that were part of the Liberty Media (NAS: LMCA) Starz deal that expired at the end of last month.

Netflix needs to take every deal brokered by Amazon seriously -- and be ready to answer back.

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At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix subscriber and shareholder since 2002. He does not own shares in any of the other stocks in this story, except for Liberty Media. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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