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Amazon Prime video to stream aloft with JetBlue

The deal marks Amazon's first content partnership with an airline carrier. The service comes later this year.

Amazon Prime customers will have free and unlimited in-flight access to Amazon's tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes. Preston Rescigno/Getty Images

Amazon is teaming up with JetBlue to make your future flights a bit more entertaining.

The Seattle e-commerce company will bring its suite of movies, TV shows, digital books, music and apps to some JetBlue flights later this year, the companies said Tuesday. Most notably, these video and music services will be free and unlimited for Amazon Prime members, though all passengers will have access to rent or purchase videos, music or apps through Amazon.

The announcement marks the first time Amazon has partnered with an airline for such a service. The new partnership will substantially increase the amount of available entertainment on these flights, particularly for Amazon Prime members. Currently, JetBlue flights -- which fly within the US and part of Latin America -- offer 36 DirecTV channels for free, as well as a handful of movie rentals for $5 on longer flights.

"We will raise the bar in airline entertainment," Michael Paull, vice president of digital video at Amazon, said in a statement.

The deal shows how Amazon is aggressively trying to bring its digital services anywhere it can to draw in more customers to its online music, apps and video stores and away from competing services offered by Google, Apple and others. Amazon has also been working hard to make its Prime member service, which provides free, two-day shipping and other perks for $99 a year, a bigger draw because Prime customers tend to buy more goods from the company.

The video and music streams will use JetBlue's Fly-Fi, a satellite connection powered by Exede Internet, which is available on certain JetBlue flights today. Fly-Fi has a free tier for basic Internet browsing and a paid tier for streaming videos. With the new Amazon partnership, Fly-Fi will come out of its initial test version and bring streaming capabilities to its free tier, a JetBlue spokesman said.

Access to Amazon's entertainment library will be built into the JetBlue Fly-Fi Hub, allowing customers to access to content without needing to download videos or music before the flight.

Prime customers will have access to Prime Instant Video's full library of tens of thousands of movies and TV shows for free, as well as over a million songs through Prime Music. All JetBlue customers will be able to purchase and download songs from the Amazon Music store, e-books from the Kindle store, and apps and games from the Amazon Appstore. They can also earn JetBlue's TrueBlue points when they shop specific categories on Amazon while in-flight or through JetBlue promotions.