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Amazon, Cinedigm Pen Content Deal to Offer Independent Movies

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) signed a content licensing agreement with Cinedigm to enrich the archive of independent movies available on its streaming video site, Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content.

The deal will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive online subscription service to stream movies from Drafthouse Films — the film distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Amazon Prime members will have access to titles like Cheap Thrills — a comic thriller; A Field in England — a psychedelic sorcery film Ben Wheatley; The Visitor — a sci-fi thriller; and Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45. Additionally, two other renowned titles — A Band Called Death and I Declare War — will be available.

A few more movies including The Congress — a futuristic vision of Hollywood starring Robin Wright; Borgman — a home invasion thriller; Mood Indigo — a visionary love fable starring Audrey Tautou; 20,000 Days on Earth — a documentary featuring musician Nick Cave and The Dog — about the man who inspired Al Pacino’s character in Dog Day Afternoon — will be made available soon.

The online retailer consistently upgrades and promotes movies and television shows on its streaming video service. Last week, Amazon signed a deal with Aardman Animations to stream four television series and short films — Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Rex the Runt. Additionally, earlier this month, Amazon teamed up with HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., to offer the popular cartoon series, Fireman Sam, for streaming and downloading on Amazon Prime.

We believe that expanding the video archive is one of Amazon’s key strategies. These content deals strengthen Amazon’s position versus Netflix (NFLX), the leading online video subscription service in the United States. Moreover, it will help Amazon to expand its footprint in the growing streaming market at a much faster rate.

Amazon is one of the leading players in an extremely fast-growing market. Its Prime Instant Video service offers more than 200,000 movies and TV episodes that members can stream on all Amazon’s platforms, including Kindle Fire and Fire HD, as well as Apple's (AAPL) iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It will also be available on Roku set-top boxes, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii and Wii U.

Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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