Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service will become the exclusive home of the popular British series “Downton Abbey,” dealing a substantial blow to competitor Netflix.
“Our Prime customers have spoken—they can’t get enough of the Masterpiece Classic series ‘Downton Abbey.’ The series is consistently in our top most watched TV shows each week, making it the most popular TV series with Prime Instant Video customers, ever,” said Brad Beale, Amazon’s director of digital video content acquisition, in a statement.
The move is a coup for Amazon, a relative upstart in video-streaming, as it seeks to outcompete the more established Netflix. Downton Abbey is one of the most popular shows on TV and appears in the Netflix Top 100 videos.
Launched nearly a year ago, Amazon’s Instant Video service is available only to customers who pay for a Prime membership, which costs $79 a year.
In its latest earnings statement, Netflix addressed the mounting competition from Amazon.
“When it comes to the most popular content with members on Netflix, none of these services are good substitutes to Netflix,” the company concluded in a letter to shareholders.
In June, Amazon will be the exclusive host for streaming Season 3 of the series, which is presently on broadcast television. Effective “later this year,” no other digital subscription service will be able to offer any seasons of “Downton Abbey.” Amazon’s deal extends to Season 4 and Season 5, if it is produced.