Amazon Prime Instant gets Selma, James Bond and Star Trek

Amazon Prime customers will get access to a bunch of big Hollywood movies over the next couple of months via Prime Instant, thanks to an extended agreement between the e-commerce giant and premium cable network Epix.

The deal includes rights to new releases like Selma, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Interstellar and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 as well as some classics, including the Star Trek and James Bond movies.

All of the movies come from Paramount, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which co-own Epix. Amazon first struck a deal with Epix in 2012. At the time, that deal was seen as a blow to Netflix, which previously was the only subscription service with access to Epix movies. However, these days, Epix has deals with both companies, which means that film buffs without a Prime subscription will get to see the same movies on Netflix as well.

This post was corrected on 2/24 to clarify that the deal includes Star Trek movies, not Star Wars movies.

Jeff Bezos: Raising the price of Amazon Prime was a great decision

Raising the price of Amazon Prime to $99 from $79 was the right decision, Jeff Bezos crowed in the company’s Q4 2014 earnings report released Thursday.

“The data is in and customers agree,” Bezos said:

On a base of tens of millions, worldwide paid membership grew 53 percent last year — 50 percent in the U.S. and even a bit faster outside the U.S. Prime is a one-of-a-kind, all-you-can-eat, physical-digital hybrid — in 2014 alone we paid billions of dollars for Prime shipping and invested $1.3 billion in Prime Instant Video. We’ll continue to work hard for our Prime members.

Of course, if you want to know the actual number of Prime subscribers you’re out of luck.

Revenue was $29.33 billion for the fourth quarter, up 15 percent over the same period last year, and a total of $88.99 billion for 2014, up 20 percent over 2013.

[company]Amazon[/company] also actually saw some profit — $214 million for the quarter, compared to $239 million for the same time in 2013. But for the full year Amazon lost money, seeing a net loss of $241 million in 2014 compared to profit of $274 million in 2013. After all, as Prime grows, so do shipping and video costs.

Amazon Web Services appears to be growing, and my colleague Barb Darrow has more on that here. The “other” category of the earnings report, which includes AWS, pulled in $1.67 billion for the quarter, up 43 percent over the same time last year.

Amazon is holding an investor call at 2 p.m. PT and I’ll be on the call.

This post was updated several times on Thursday afternoon.

This Saturday you can watch all of Transparent free on Amazon

Not having access to award-winning TV is certainly nothing new for cord-cutters, but now the debate’s being flipped: When Amazon’s original series Transparent won the Golden Globe awards for best comedy and best actor, there was some discussion of how the masses could see the show, since it’s only available on Amazon, to Prime members.

But here’s something a cable network would probably never do: On Saturday Amazon is making all of the episodes of Transparent free for viewing by all, just for that one day. In addition, in case you don’t have time to binge-watch the 10 episodes, [company]Amazon[/company] is putting Prime on sale that day for $72 (down from the normal $99), though it appears the offer is only available to new members. Amazon’s relying on you getting so hooked by episode 2 that you will have signed up for Prime by episode 4.

You can watch the show at www.amazon.com/Transparent or on the Amazon Instant Video app.