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Amazon adds Fox content to instant video streaming

A new licensing deal allows Amazon Prime members to instantly stream for "free" a wide selection of 20th Century Fox movies and TV shows.

The Fox deal brings movies like "Office Space" to Amazon Instant Video.
20th Century Fox

Thanks to a new licensing deal Amazon has made with 20th Century Fox, later this fall Amazon Prime members will be able to instantly stream such TV shows as "24," "The X-Files," and "Arrested Development" and such movies as "Office Space" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

The deal will bring the total number of "free" Prime instant videos to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows as Amazon continues its efforts to match up with Netflix in the digital streaming arena.

Amazon Prime currently costs $79 a year and allows members to get free two-day shipping on many products Amazon sells. Amazon is heavily pushing the program with enticements like video streaming because it stands to reason that Prime members are Amazon's most loyal shoppers.

Other popular Fox movies Amazon is citing in the deal are "Speed," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Doctor Dolittle," "Last of the Mohicans," and classics like the "The Longest Day," and "All About Eve." Other TV shows include "NYPD Blue," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Ally McBeal," and "The Wonder Years." Only "Wonder Years" is currently not available on Netflix for streaming or on disc.

Yesterday, The New York Times reported that DreamWorks Animation had signed a licensing deal with Netflix, "replacing a less lucrative pact with HBO." CNET's Greg Sandoval called the deal "more spin than win," arguing that Netflix was trying spin the limited DreamWorks deal into a worthy replacement for Starz. Sandoval says Netflix users won't get DreamWorks content until 2013.

Netflix purportedly has somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 videos available for streaming or nearly twice the amount of videos that Amazon offers. However, as Amazon continues to chip away at the numbers gap, Netflix users may be more likely to jump to Amazon because its streaming service is technically cheaper at $6.58 per month versus $7.99 for Netflix--and you get a Prime membership with free shipping thrown in.