Netflix has TV shows, old movies and kids’ stuff on its digital service but it lacks new movies because most Hollywood studios stay away from Reed Hastings. Those days are now gone as Netflix get new movies through Epix, the pay-TV channel owned by Viacom.
Epix features movies from Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM. If you see films from recent years when browsing through the Netflix streaming menu, chances are they came from Epix. Thor and the latest Transformers movie are now available in Netflix. It announced that Captain America is coming soon. Next year, Netflix users can watch The Avengers and The Hunger Games.
At present, Netflix is the only streaming service that has Epix movies but that will go away by the end of August. Redbox Instant w9pp get Epix movies later this year. Viacom is still trying to convince other companies to carry Epix movies.
According to Hastings, he is not worried about losing the exclusivity of Epix because it is not a large source of viewing. He told this during the earnings call, where he said that his company’s shares were down more than 25 percent after releasing its earnings report.
In his recent letter to investors, Hastings was enthusiastic about Epix. He said that the current feature film offering is better than ever. He cited Transformers and Thor, along with non-Epix movies. He stated that Transformers is the most popular movie in Netflix today.
Epix is a good thing for Netflix. Users might not spend a lot of time watching Thor but the movie’s presence on the Netflix menu reassures users that the service carries big Hollywood movies. Netflix has a five year contract with Viacom, which ends by the middle of 2015. The deal has to be extended each year but it’s not a negotiation. It’s up to Viacom to decide whether Netflix gets Epix at a predetermined price.