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Amazon accused of exaggerating Prime video counts

updated 12:00 am EDT, Fri April 13, 2012

Amazon Prime catalog actually much smaller

Amazon drew flak on Thursday after it was accused of and later confirmed inflating its Amazon Prime video catalog. The company acknowledged to Fast Company that it counts each individual TV episode as a show, leading to even just one long-running TV series representing a large part of its catalog. A roster of 17,000 titles claimed by Amazon amounted to 1,875 titles, all but 150 of which were movies.

Netflix, Amazon's main competitor in subscriptions, consciously avoids mentioning numbers partly out of honesty. Its access to videos is determined videos going into and out of rotation, which prevents it giving a consistent figure. The video streaming pioneer claims a larger library, although it's helped by having been active well ahead of Amazon.

Pay-per-show services like iTunes usually have considerably larger movie and TV show collections as studios typically favor their models of buying or renting individual shows, leading to many more recent titles being in stock.

The reasons for pumping the video counts aren't certain, but the alternative figures are likely intended to give a better impression of a still-young service. Amazon increasingly sees its Prime video service as a vehicle for the Kindle Fire which, much like iTunes for the iPad, provides a ready-made content library to spur sales.

by MacNN Staff



  1. chas_m




    Open-and-shut case of Amazon lying about its numbers.

    Hands up anyone who thinks they ONLY do that for their video service?

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is said that...

    Google is evil... so is Jeff Bezos company Amazon. They want is all. I wouldn't be surprised if the government lets Bezos get away with it, someday, buying Wal-Mart!!! Then you will see the price of everything going up!

  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012


    Now You Tell Us

    Discovered this the hard way. I bought a Blu-ray player just two weeks ago specifically because of the Amazon Prime video access only to find out that there is no where near the content you think there is based on their advertising. I like Amazon Prime for the shipping, but on this I do feel cheated.

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, look at it this way:

    From Jan 17, 2004

    If you take the 500,000 "tracks" and divide that by an average of say 12 tracks per album, you get less than 42,000 albums (if iTunes even had that many complete albums to begin with). So... how is that any different? Granted most people will find more value in a single song track than a single episode of a TV show, but still..?

    It's just marketing BS and everyone does it, including Apple.

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969




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