Amazon has confirmed that the figure of 17,000 movies and TV shows cited for its Prime Instant Video service refers to individual streaming items, not titles. This means that TV shows have their individual episodes weighted as heavily as single movies, of which there are only 1,745 — Fast Company calculates that the 715 available Power Rangers episodes account for 4.2 percent of the service's entire library.
It's debatable how misleading this really is — we've reported the figure varyingly as "items" and "programs," which we don't think would give people the impression that an entire TV series would account for only one of the 17,000, but it's clear that the "movies and TV shows" phrasing cited as being from Amazon has the potential to confuse. Amazon wouldn't comment on this, but we're unable to find that wording on the site right now, with the service simply described as offering "over 17,000 videos." While this figure is open to interpretation, we don't think it's a disingenuous statement from Amazon itself, although the press release for the service's addition to PlayStation 3 did contain that wording. Either way, there are likely more transparent ways to communicate the true extent of the content offering.
Update: Fast Company got in touch with us and provided evidence of the "17,000 movies and TV shows" wording being used by none other than Jeff Bezos in a message to customers. While it's no longer on the Amazon site itself, it does show that the confusing phrasing goes beyond a single press release.