Declaring War on Netflix: Amazon Does Streaming Video
Netflix is the service to beat when it comes to TV and movie distribution. Amazon has fired a shot across Netflix's bow with an announcement that the online retailer will offer streaming TV and films to subscribers.
"Adding unlimited instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost is a great way to give members even more value for their $79 annual Amazon Prime membership," said Robbie Schwietzer, vice president of Amazon Prime, in a statement.
Amazon Prime customers who already pay $79 per year for free two-day shipping will automatically qualify for free streaming video of over 5,000 TV shows and movies, the company said. That’s less expensive than a year of streaming from Netflix.
Amazon will stream to a number of devices, even set-top boxes such as Roku. This streaming service will run without commercials. It is separate from the Amazon Instant Video service that offers 90,000 movies and TV shows for rental fees instead of a subscription fee.
The big difference between Netflix and Amazon Prime, at least for now, is the content: Netflix has a much larger library , and people go where they can find the shows they want. On the other hand, offering streaming video as part of a service that people already pay for makes it especially attractive.