Amazon adds 3,000 Prime Instant Videos

Amazon has just secured another content partner for its Netflix-rivaling streaming video service.

The partner is one of the biggest in the business – Discovery Communications. With the new deal, Amazon can now offer shows from The Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Science Channel, the Military Channel, and more.

In total, around 3,000 new TV show episodes will be added to the company’s ever expanding digital library, making it an even more formidable competitor to Netflix.

Amazon Prime is a $79/year service that started out offering customers unlimited free two-day shipping on most Amazon-inventoried items. It recently expanded the service so that, at no additional cost, users also receive free streaming video in the same vein as Netflix, as well as access to free Kindle content.

Of course, the problem with Amazon Prime is it has a large up-front cost. $79 to join Amazon Prime is a lot different than less than $10 to join Netflix. Of course, if you do the math, Prime ends up being cheaper at less than $7/month. And don’t forget, that includes all the other benefits of Amazon Prime too.

The cheaper versions of Amazon Prime, like the $39/year version for students, do not include streaming video access. Nevertheless, this announcement is a big shout from Amazon that it wants to seriously play in the contentious streaming video market. We’ll see what happens.

“With the addition of this great content from Discovery Communications, Prime customers now have more than 17,000 titles to choose from when watching Prime Instant Video–that’s in addition to the more than 120,000 titles that are offered to all customers for purchase or rent on Amazon Instant Video,” Amazon director of video content acquisition Brad Beale said in a statement.