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The agreement is significant in that it confirms that Netflix has let a two-year exclusivity period for the digital distribution of Epix fare. Netflix management had signaled it would do so, but the deal is final confirmation.
The Amazon agreement, financial terms of which weren’t detailed, will add such movies as The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Iron Man 2, Super 8, Thor and more to Amazon’s video offerings.
Epix is a venture of Viacom, MGM and Lionsgate. It launched with much fanfare with the help of a five-year Netflix deal, two years of which were exclusive to Netflix. The streaming-video giant had the chance to extend the exclusivity. If the deal had remained exclusive for five years, it was seen as having a value of $1 billion for Epix. Overall, the Amazon service now has 25,000 movies and TV episodes available.
With the exclusivity out of the way, Epix is expected to look for possible additional digital-distribution deals with other companies, including an online video service from Dish Network.
Netflix, which has seen most usage driven by its TV show offerings, continues to see movies as a key part of its content portfolio, management has said. But late last year, it did not extend its digital-distribution deal with Starz, which included Disney and Sony Corp. movies.
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