New out of Seattle, Wash., Friday morning was that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has secured a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to add several popular TV shows to Amazon’s Prime video streaming service and to add to the video library for Kindle Fires and other devices. This is an exlusive agreement that includes shows like Fringe and The West Wing, Amazon announced in a press release.
Shows will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime Video subscribers and Kindle Fire customers for the summer, giving them access to a library of about 18,000 movies and TV episodes – and these new additions had not been available for video streaming anywhere before.Amazon invites customers who don’t have Prime Video to access a free trial, plus Kindle Fire buyers get one free month access included with their Fire.
In a press release announcing the deal, Amazon director of digital video acquisition Brad Beale said, “Since launching Prime Instant Video, we’ve continued to expand both the quantity and quality of video content for our Prime members. “Bringing Fringe and The West Wing two shows with a devoted fan base to Prime Instant Video first, is another way for us to add value for Prime members and to continue to give customers content they love.”
Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, said, “We are thrilled to count Amazon as a digital distribution outlet for our television group. As more and more television content is enjoyed by fans across a myriad of subscription channels and platforms and on numerous devices from televisions to tablets, deals such as this give consumers the opportunity to discover, catch-up, or simply enjoy a favorite series again and again.”
In the moments after the announcement, AMZN stock recovered from a slight loss to be up about $1.25 to just more than $227 per share. This news, though, will be closely watched by hedge funds like Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management and John Griffin’s Blue Ridge Capital. At the end of March, Fisher was invested to the tune of nearly $515 million in AMZN stock, while Blue Ridge had nearly $353 million at stake.