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Media News: Amazon Drinks Netflix's Milkshake Over A&E

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Also, a study calls Google a major piracy supporter and Microsoft places its hopes on the Surface Pro.

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This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on the media every week, so get ready!

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Link: Amazon Prime Nabs the A&E Shows That Netflix Lost
"Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has signed a licensing deal with A&E to make shows from the A&E, Bio, History and Lifetime channels available for streaming on Prime Instant Video, the company announced Friday. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) lost streaming rights to many of those shows (800 hours' worth) last September.

"The Prime Instant Video website shows 446 A&E seasons available, largely reality shows like Dance Moms, Hoarders, Project Runway, Storage Wars, and Pawn Stars. Most of them aren't available through Netflix streaming, though Netflix retains some older Biography shows."

Digital Music News
Link: University Study Ranks Google Among the Worst Piracy Supporters
"Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is already on the defensive over the result, calling it misguided and totally 'mistaken'. But according to a study released this morning by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, Google is among the worst financial supporters and facilitators of pirate hubs. The reason, according to the study, is that Google's ad network is frequently matching pirate sites with ads from major brands."

All Things D
Link: Well, Maybe Someone Will Buy the Surface Pro
"Sales of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) new Surface tablet probably weren't ever going to break records - they certainly haven't so far. Detwiler Fenton, a Boston-based brokerage firm, estimates that Microsoft sold just 500,000 to 600,000 Surface RTs in the December quarter. But things might improve with the debut of Surface Pro, which is slated to show up early this year.

"The Pro, with its Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Core i5 processor and support for the full Office suite, is targeted at business and the prosumer markets. And according to some analysts, it's not a stretch to think it will do well in them. Indeed, Davenport & Co. analyst Drake Johnstone says there's some promise to the Pro, and sees at least one scenario in which it could spur sales of a few million."

Wired Business
Link: Twitter Replaces Facebook as Tech's IPO Obsession
"As Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) transitions from Silicon Valley's hottest upstart to humdrum public technology company, the Valley's many startup obsessives seem to be turning their attention to the younger social media company Twitter.

"A research note on Twitter, weighing in at all of 416 words, sparked intense interest in the tech world today after the report's author told Forbes that Twitter has been valued at $11 billion in some recent trades, up from $8 billion in August 2011. The company behind the research, Greencrest Capital, later said that its own internal valuation model has Twitter closer to the original, lower figure, and cautioned that the apparent surge in Twitter's value is based on relatively illiquid secondary market trades."

WSJ Speakeasy
Link: Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs Film Due in April
"The new film, jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher as the late Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs, will be released in April, Open Road Films and Five Star Feature films announced Thursday. The release will come after "jOBS" premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this month as the closing film.

"The biopic traces Jobs's life from college dropout to co-founder of Apple, and includes major moments in his life from 1971 through 2000. While specific details of the film remain under wraps, it's common knowledge that Jobs led an adventurous life before he became one of corporate America's most prominent leaders."
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