Amazon Prime and PBS

Amazon continues to add more content to its Amazon Prime Instant Video service ahead of the launch of its Kindle Fire tablet. For this round the company decided to go for a bit of high brow content by adding programming from PBS.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, announced today that over 1,000 episodes of various PBS programs would be joining the lineup of programming that Amazon Prime members can enjoy for free, bringing the total number of videos available to over 12,000.  Some of the titles included in the deal are NOVA, Masterpiece and Antiques Roadshow, along with the Ken Burns series of documentaries featuring The Civil War, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Baseball, Jazz and the acclaimed new series Prohibition. For the more timely shows such as Frontline and Washington Week, those will also be coming to the Amazon service the day after their original air dates.  For the cooking aficionados out there, coming for the first time ever on digital video will be 200 episodes of The French Chef with  Julia Child.

“Prime instant video has included great content from PBS since the day it launched and Prime members have told us they want even more – so we are delivering,” said Brad Beale, director of video content acquisition for Amazon. “Our expanded relationship with PBS will bring the total number of titles available for Prime instant video to over 12,000. We are committed to bringing Prime Members and Kindle Fire owners even more compelling content very soon.”

“Expanding the reach of our content by making it accessible through digital platforms is a key priority for PBS,” said Jason Seiken, Senior Vice President, PBS Interactive, Product Development and Innovation. “We are already delivering more than 150 million streams of programming across web and mobile apps each month, so we are excited to offer more titles through Prime instant video and ensure that our acclaimed content is available whenever and wherever people want it.”

While PBS programming isn’t for everyone, this certainly shows that Amazon is not sitting on its laurels when it comes to adding content.  With the launch of the Kindle Fire next month, a device that is very much about consuming content, adding as many videos as possible before its launch is a good idea.  Will they continue to do so, though, after they get the devices into consumer’s hands?  Our guess is on, “yes.”

What do you think about Amazon adding PBS content to its video service?