Amazon, hot off of Thursday’s Kindle Fire HD announcement, is downplaying a report the Internet retailer is being courted by some studios to take on Netflix. Studios would love Amazon to spin-off the video-streaming portion of Amazon Prime, according to one report.

“Some content owners I’ve talked to say they like the idea so much that they’ll compel Jeff Bezos to do it whether he wants to or not,” reports All Things Digital‘s Peter Kafka. However, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is playing hard-to-get…

After describing Amazon having “very good relationships” with studios, Bezos suggested not all studios want to take on Netflix. “They are not all like-minded,” he said in a recent interview. Despite Bezos’ weak protestations, Amazon has aggressively been building its Prime Instant Video library. In less than a year, the company has doubled its video collection to  25,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. While that figure is less than have of Netflix’s more that 50,000 videos, Amazon is adding an enviable list of studio partners.

The latest example was Amazon’s licensing deal with cable channel Epix. Moving quickly after Netflix announced in July its arrangement with Epix was about to expire, Amazon inked a one-year renewable deal, bringing with it access to movies by Paramount, Viacom, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The $79 annual Amazon Prime service earlier signed licensing pacts with NBC and Warner Bros for television content.

The push by Amazon to offer more streaming-video choices comes as Netflix continues to recover from multiple gaffes in 2011, including raising prices on its DVD subscriptions and splitting its DVD-by-mail service feature from its video-streaming. Although Hulu and others attempted to profit from the missteps, Netflix has remained the dominant player.

Amazon may also have been embolden in its video efforts by Apple’s recent comments that any TV service is unlikely to be coming from Cupertino. Apple executives said they were reluctant to develop an alternative to current cable and broadcast providers after running into continued roadblocks obtaining licensing from major studios.

What’s your take? Do you see Amazon as a viable Internet video-streaming alternative to Netflix?

  • This is good news…

    One of the reasons I picked up a Roku to go with my Apple TV was so I could have access to both Hulu and Amazon Prime. Now that Apple TV has FINALLY added Hulu, the Apple TV doesn’t seem so lonely and boring now. I doubt they will ever add Amazon Prime to the Apple TV so my Roku isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  • chjode

    I’m all for options, but Amazon needs to clean up their Instant Video interface when viewed through a web browser. It’s a pain to search and sort for the streaming videos I get as part of my Amazon Prime account.

  • Netflix has gotten greedy with their pricing, and the fact they don’t have content available from the companies that own it just prove that even more. Amazon just got a great deal with Epix, and more and more people I know are thinking of switching over to them and dropping Netflix.

  • Jimmy Mackey

    I prefer quantity AND quality when it comes to video, and
    lets face it, streaming is not meaty enough to supply either of these commodities. I like instant gratification as much as the
    next person, but when Netflix increased their rates for both physical and
    streaming movies, I dropped them. Now, I
    get both for less than I paid for Netflix with my Blockbuster @Home from my
    employer, Dish, and yet I have more streaming choices than even Amazon
    supplies. Having the Blu-ray and DVD
    by-mail makes my choices for the biggest movies limitless, while I have the
    convenience of streaming while I’m waiting for a movie. I figure I should have my cake and eat it
    too.

  • WatchTheThrone

    I think amazon will eventually drop the amazon name and just call it Prime!! Amazon has these so called “great relationships” to easily muscle into Netflixs market share and maybe become number 1!!

  • I still haven’t forgiven Amazon for publishing that pedophile handbook a few years back. Fuck Amazon!