Can Amazon Overcome Netflix's Content Advantage?
The dot-com retailer recently purchased the streaming rights for the first eight seasons of the hit TV series 24. This deal came after Netflix lost its ability to stream the series online.
In addition to past seasons, Amazon Prime also secured the rights to 24: Live Another Day, the 12-episode mini-series that will debut this May on Fox. Hulu will stream the show as well, but only for a limited time after each episode airs.
Ironically, Netflix announced that it had secured the streaming rights to another Fox series, House, just one day prior to Amazon's 24 announcement.
No individual series could ever be enough to win the battle for users, but 24 is merely the latest in a long line of moves to attract Prime subscribers.
"I don't know if [Amazon is] there yet, but in terms of the path that they're going, I don't know that Netflix will have any kind of content advantage over Amazon," Andre Swanston, co-founder and CEO of Tru Optik, told Benzinga.
"Now Amazon has its own hardware and there are just other perks. I don't know that Netflix's main advantage anymore is that they just have content. There's going to be a content war, which is pretty obvious, between Amazon and Netflix."
Swanston, whose company provides real-time and predictive audience intelligence for the media, entertainment and advertising industries, also spoke about other potential competitors, such as Yahoo and Microsoft.
"Even Sony Crackle is developing a lot more original content now," said Swanston. "It's a free solution that's ad-based, and it's available everywhere -- every game system, every smart TV."
"In terms of availability, it'll be interesting to see as they do more original content and put a bigger budget into that, and with the fact that it's free with few ads… I've watched two-hour movies on there with five ads. Who cares? Only five ads!"
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
© 2016 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.