Hello, competition! A decade ago, who could've thought that Apple
and Hulu (who?) would've been battling it out for the living room? Here we are, though, and it's happening. Amazon has taken a major step in the direction of domination by acquiring exclusive rights to bring Fringe and The West Wing to Prime Instant Video viewers. Yes, those are both big shows with rather large followings, but the real importance here is the "exclusive" nature. If companies like Amazon start landing these deals, we're going to see a kind of fragmentation that we haven't had to worry about before; soon, you may need to have Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and iTunes in order to truly see all shows from all studios. Yikes.
The deal between Warner Bros. and Amazon also brings the shows to Kindle Fire users, and presumably, the next-gen Kindle Fire will also take advantage... whenever that arrives to rival the Nexus 7. Here's the word straight from Amazon:
"Both Fringe and The West Wing will be available exclusively on Prime Instant Video for the summer, giving Prime members and Kindle Fire customers exclusive access to favorite titles that have been previously unavailable. Prime Instant Video includes more than 18,000 movies and TV episodes available for Prime members to instantly stream and enjoy at no additional cost. To start watching Prime Instant Video now, visit www.amazon.com/PIV. Customers who are not Prime members can enjoy a free one month trial of Prime and all Kindle Fire customers enjoy a free month of Prime right out of the box. Prime customers can access Prime Instant Video on Kindle Fire or any of the hundreds of compatible Amazon Instant Video devices, including the Roku, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming console. For a list of compatible Amazon Instant Video devices visit here."
Clearly, Amazon is playing hardball here. Sadly, we're guessing the other online TV providers will follow suit, making it hard to have "just one" outlet for watching.