Netflix, the DVD rental company, announced last week that it had reached a deal to provide about 2500 titles from Starz Entertainment’s broadband subscription service to its Web streaming service.
The deal, whose terms were not disclosed, marks a major milestone for Netflix in its efforts to license newer content for its Watch Instantly streaming service, which offers viewing from a library of more than 12,000 titles, most of which are older releases.
Netflix and other fledgling online video providers have been struggling to obtain subscription rights for digital delivery from Hollywood studios, particularly for newer release films.
In this case, Starz, a unit of Liberty Media, made an investment in rights to offer subscription movies across all electronic delivery platforms for its Starz Play broadband service and is now selling the service through affiliate partnerships such as Netflix. It reached a similar deal with Verizon Communications.
The additional Starz films are included on the Netflix Watch Instantly service at no additional charge to subscribers with unlimited subscription plans, starting at $8.99 a month. Subscribers will also have an opportunity to watch a live feed of the Starz TV network on their PCs.
About 1000 titles are now available at the Netflix Web site, and more will be added in coming weeks.