Amazon Beats Netflix to the Punch

In the continuing jostle for content on the European continent, Lovefilm, Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) subsidiary there, pipped competitor Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to the post by signing an exclusive multi-year licensing deal with Universal Pictures (NASDAQ:CMCSA).

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Granted, this will only allow Lovefilm to stream this content on the second subscription pay-TV window, yet the deal is a coup of sorts for Lovefilm, as it sews up content from a top-notch, major studio and shuts out Netflix at the same time.

Access to top-tier content, de rigueur for growing the customer base, is therefore a competitive advantage in the online streaming market. Netflix is planning to expand beyond the UK and Ireland into other parts of Europe later this year, but it appears it has already been back-footed by Lovefilm’s deal with Universal. Coming on top of its deals last year, for second-window licensing, with Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) and Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE), Lovefilm has now locked down content from half of the major studios.

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