Amazon has announced yet another video sponsorship for Prime Instant Video, this time with premium cable network Epix. The partnership will bring over 3,000 movies from the likes of Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM to Amazon's streaming offering, including movies like The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Thor, and more. Amazon and Epix have announced that this is a multi-year licensing deal. Amazon Prime Instant Video is available as one of many perks of the $79 per year Amazon Prime membership. The Epix titles will be available 90 days after they appear on Epix VOD. Netflix had previously held an exclusive license for Epix content, which has now expired.
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Microsoft also announced a significant number of related content partnerships, bringing most major services to the Xbox platform this week or by early 2012. On Dec. 6, Starting Dec. 6, a free Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone will let also let users find, learn more about and control content from popular entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday night, Microsoft said that the "Bing on Xbox" update would arrive on U.S. consoles beginning "tomorrow," and roll out to U.S. console owners over the coming weeks. Those without a Kinect peripheral will be able to search using Bing text search.
The voice search capability, first revealed in June, will work with both the Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Video, and selected content partners. On Dec. 6, presumably the date of the update, Microsoft plans to add content from new entertainment partners, including apps, from EPIX, ESPN, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and MSNBC's Today.
Microsoft's vision for the Xbox platform, including voice search via Kinect, probably was more significant six months ago before Apple's Siri began dominating headlines with its ability to naturally search and interact with the user and a variety of apps. Nevertheless, it allows users to interact with a growing sea of content as simply as possible.
Frontier Communications has officially acquired all Verizon and Verizon Fios wireline assets in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. They’ve also acquired several of Verizon’s exchanges in California, including those bordering Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. Customers in those regions have been told they would get the same level of service that they’ve been paying for, but as it turns out, it’s simply not true. We did some digging, and we’ve found that Frontier customers have completely lost access to the following services, with no Frontier equivalent being offered:
- Verizon TV Central
- Online TV Listings
- Remote DVR Access Online
- FiOS Mobile Remote
- FiOS TV Online
- HBO Go access
- Epix Online access
We are going to try and get word from Frontier as it pertains to the feature loss experienced by customers in the acquisition, since it seems like there’s a lot lost. Service level has decreased, but prices are certainly remaining the same.