NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) 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.