Stream long, and prosper.
Star Trek fans now have a new reason to pay Amazon.com
All episodes of the original Star Trek series -- along with 17 other television shows owned by CBS
Now that Netflix
Amazon didn't seem to rock the world when it began to offer 5,000 videos as cost-free bonuses to Prime members in February. The options were up to 6,000 last week, but the CBS deal pushes the options up to an impressive 8,000 titles.
Even if you were never a fan of Numb3rs or The Tudors, it's hard to turn down what's essentially a freebie to Amazon's millions of Prime subscribers.
The challenge at this point is to make the content available outside of the PC. Netflix has spent the past four years building up its arsenal of ways to put its licensed streams into home theaters, working with Blu-ray players, DVR makers, set-top boxes, and video game consoles.
Amazon has some serious ground to make up there.
Amazon streams its premium videos through TiVo
However, there's a legitimate opportunity for Amazon to replace Netflix, at least for frequent online shoppers who are hesitant about shelling out $7.99 a month -- or more than Prime's $79 a year -- to Netflix for its larger streaming catalog.
It doesn't have to end there. Amazon will never build out a regional network of DVD distribution centers, but it can offer most of Hollywood's new releases and fresh television episodes a la carte through its premium streams. All it needs is to get a larger audience to go through the hassle of tethering their compatible devices with Amazon's streaming service. Teaming up with Coinstar's
Amazon is suddenly in a better position than anyone else to exploit Netflix's new vulnerability. Even Star Trek's cool-headed Spock can't argue with that logic.
Will Amazon be able to take market share from Netflix? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been shopping online since the early 1990s. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article, except for Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.