E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. ( AMZN ) recently declared that it has entered into an agreement with legendary film maker Woody Allen to make online TV series for the its Prime Instant Video Service. Shares of the company rose over 1% to $294.74 following the news.
The deal comes after Amazon's series "Transparent" won a Golden Globe for the best comedy series and best actor in a comedy series. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The half-hour series is currently being referred to as "Untitled Woody Allen Project" and will be written and directed by the veteran filmmaker. The series will mark Woody Allen entry into television. Amazon has ordered a full season of the series. Episodes will be available next year on the Prime Instant Video service in the U.S., the UK and Germany.
The Prime service charges customers a membership fee of $99 per annum and grants members the benefit of guaranteed two-day shipping.
With the latest move Amazon is getting into more direct competition with Netflix Inc. ( NFLX ) in a rising battle to get celebrities to create original shows that will entice customers to their streaming video services. Netflix has signed original content agreements with comedians Adam Sandler and Chelsea Handler.
Amazon is doing all it can to accumulate the content required to spur digital media sales and attract new users. In this regard, the company is focusing on a wide gamut of programs, including comedy, drama, docu-series and kids offerings, to expand its content line-up and make the Prime Instant video service more attractive to viewers.
Amazon recently announced that its film production division, Amazon Studios, will debut 13 original TV series for the first pilot season of 2015 on Jan 15 in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.
Oscar winner Woody Allen's series will further extend the archive of original shows available on Amazon's video streaming library, making it a force to reckon with in the segment and increasing competition for Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Apple ( AAPL ). At the same time, it will help Amazon to expand its footprint in the growing streaming market at a much faster rate.
Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock from the same sector is Mercadolibre, Inc. ( MELI ), sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.