Amazon Launches Video Subscription Service Similar to Netflix and Hulu

  • Amazon
  • Online Video
  • Web-to-TV
SEATTLE --Amazon is introducing unlimited, ad-free, instant streaming of movies and TV shows for its Amazon Prime members at no extra cost. Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping for Amazon purchases, will continue to be $79 per year.

Movies and TV shows available through Amazon Prime can be viewed on Macs, PCs and nearly 200 models of Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. The selection of videos available for instant streaming includes more than 5,000 new and old movies and TV shows.

Amazon will continue to offer its a la carte video streaming service, Instant Video, which has more than 90,000 commercial-free movies and television shows (many in high definition) available to buy or rent. New-release movies are often available as soon as they are released on DVD, and many TV shows are available the day after their first broadcast.

This raises the question of why the subscription service is so much more limited than the a la carte service. Is the subscription service a "gateway drug" intended to bring more customers to Instant Video? Is it a way to increase the number of Amazon Prime subscribers? Or is Amazon testing the market for a more expansive subscription service? Stay tuned.


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