Amazon Inks Distribution / Streaming Deal With NBCUniversal

Let the media wars begin!

With iTunes firmly in the lead on the music front, the race is wide open when it comes to streaming media. There are Netflix, Hulu, Boxee, Amazon and countless others, all gunning to be your at-home favorite when it comes to streaming entertainment (and of course Redbox, but they certainly haven't divulged any real streaming plans as of yet).

But now, Amazon has confessed to swinging the latest punch: the company has nailed down a new licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution that will allow Amazon Prime members to stream select Universal Pictures movies through Prime Instant Video. This deal with Amazon will bring the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 9,000 movies and TV shows this summer.

Amazon Prime customers will be able to instantly watch popular Universal movies at no additional cost to their membership. Universal titles available to Prime customers will include Oscar winners such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Elizabeth," and "Gosford Park." For the kids, there's "Babe," "Flipper," and "Jetsons - The Movie," as well as other favorites like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Notting Hill," "Being John Malkovich", "Fletch," and "Billy Elliott."

That's a huge win for Amazon, as their rivals struggle to nail down similar deals with studios who are increasingly hesitant about losing too much control over content to these easy-as-pie home streaming services. Will it be the swing that determines which company you stick with? Probably not, but a few more like this, and who knows.