NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon
(AMZN - Get Report) wants Transparent to be the new Orange--and in on Netflix's
(NFLX), business. The online retail giant announced yesterday that it has six new, original pilot series exclusively for its Prime streaming video service. One of the shows is Transparent, a drama/comedy from the creator of Six Feet Under that studio executives undoubtedly hope commands the popularity of Netflix's award-winning original series Orange Is The New Black.
Amazon is using original content to encourage viewers to subscribe to its Prime service. The recently increased $99-a-year subscription service gives customers access to pay-per-view and free streaming entertainment, as well as free two-day shipping on many items ordered from Amazon. The retailer does not reveal the number of Prime subscribers it has or how many watch its streaming video content. Management has put the number of subscribers, generally, in the tens of millions. Amazon also announced today that it is the exclusive, online streaming provider of hit Fox series 24.
The amount of original content Amazon is bankrolling shows just how seriously it is taking aim at Netflix's business model. Netflix has seen its stock climb 92.3% in the past year as Amazon's has risen a more modest 29%. Netflix has long offered subscribers original content in addition to previously-aired television series and movies. Amazon plans to host a media event tomorrow to update the world on its video streaming ambitions. Netflix investors are bracing themselves for news that Amazon will announce more aggressive moves into their territory.
$NFLX This could move up/down 5% tomorrow after $amzn media event - Kevin Ojunta (@darotweiler) Apr. 1 at 12:29 PMApple (AAPL) investors are also watching. Amazon is rumored to be working on a set-top device that would plug in to computers, something like Apple TV only smaller. Some cashtaggers believe that a new version of Apple TV will trample Amazon's ambitions in the space.
$AAPL iTV would kill off $NFLX and $AMZN in one swipe - Fanboy101 (@RealFanboy101) Mar. 31 at 02:39 PMMany others argue that Amazon and Netflix have made sufficient strides with content partnerships that Apple TV will become an also ran.
@RealFanboy101 $APPL Why didn't it kill them off the first time? #iTVSucks - EJag (@IamEJag) Mar. 31 at 03:05 PMThe belief in Amazon's ability to hassle Apple and steal Netflix growth, however, doesn't amount to a belief in the stock. Sentiment on Amazon is 60% bearish, according to StockTwits' analytics. Netflix sentiment is 59% bearish. Apple, meanwhile, enjoys 70% bullish sentiment.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.