Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

Summary: Amazon added unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows to its Prime subscription plan. While the move is billed as Amazon vs. Netflix the move really just highlights what's possible with the Prime model.

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Amazon on Tuesday added unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows to its Prime subscription plan. While the move is billed as Amazon vs. Netflix the move really just highlights what's possible with the Prime model.

First, the basics. Amazon Prime runs you $79 a year and now you get unlimited streaming to go with free two day shipping. On the surface, Amazon is taking target practice at Netflix. Netflix's streaming only service runs you $7.99 a month. All things being equal, Amazon just undercut Netflix's pricing.

There's little doubt that Amazon is looking to hit Netflix. However, there is a bigger picture. Remember the Prime program is designed to get you to shop more and allow Amazon to grow its wallet share.

When shipping is removed as a barrier, shoppers spend more dough. Amazon rivals clearly see the threat from Prime. As a result, a bevy of competitors such as Toys R Us, Drugstore.com and others have joined Shoprunner, which offers free shipping and deals via participating stores. Shoprunner is a unit of GSI Commerce, which competes with Amazon on the fulfillment side of the e-commerce equation.

GSI handles the fulfillment for companies like Toys R Us and Dicks Sporting Goods. Incidentally, Shoprunner's annual fee is $79 too.

In its initial incarnation, Prime was easy to replicate by GSI Commerce's Shoprunner. Now Amazon has thrown in video the equation has changed again. Simply put, Amazon is playing a little offense and defense with its Prime program.

Streaming movies are likely to be just a start. Amazon could provide free Kindles to all Prime subscribers. Perhaps Amazon offers Web  backup services via Amazon Web Services. You get the idea. Amazon could offer a lot of goodies to Prime subscribers---and probably will.

Topics: Amazon, Browser, Data Management, E-Commerce, Hardware, Mobility, Storage

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22 comments
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  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    Why would Amazon give anything as good as Kindle for free with Prime subscription... What would make more sense is provide streaming videos to Kimdle users for a discount and there giving Apple a competion in both iPad and iTunes business......
    gsehgal
    • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

      @gsehgal
      By your logic, no CellCo would give a customer free anything as good as phone...... as part of a contractual subscription.

      Suggesting Amazon take that on by working with establish global players, who aren;t CellCo's but with substantial Cell operations like the UK's Tesco (world's second biggest retailer after Wallmart), to challenge the CellCo's as weel
      neilpost
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    Wouldn't Amazon need to be on the media devices like Wii and Xbox to compete with Netflix? That is where I see Netflix has the advantage.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

      @Loverock Davidson Sure, but I bet Amazon will find a way to get onto those devices... Amazon's huge, they have connections so I'm sure it'll go places.
      snoop0x7b
      • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

        @snoop0x7b
        That they are, but I was wondering if they would be able to be on the same device as Netflix or if Netflix has some type of no-compete clause where other streaming services aren't allowed.
        Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

      @Loverock Davidson

      Roku does both Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand. This new service seems to be just a different pricing model for the existing video you can already stream from Amazon, so there's no reason why it wouldn't work with Roku. Also, there are a number of DVD and Blu-Ray players that support both Netflix and Amazon.
      1DaveN
    • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

      @Loverock Davidson <br><br>I haven't tried it myself but supposedly you can stream videos from Amazon through your Xbox 360 via your PC, using Media Player. That's how they do it today but I'd prefer they had an Xbox app, like Netflix does.

      Like someone else mentioned, I do have a Blu-ray player that has Amazon VOD built-in.
      kb5ynf
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    @Loverock Davidson - I have a Sony blu ray player that supports both Netflix and Amazon on Demand.
    dmb851290@...
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    This sounds like a great deal to me. Now if only they can get an iPod and Android app it will be perfect.
    dmb851290@...
    • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

      @dmb851290@... you can already watch it on android if you have flash.
      tatiGmail
      • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

        @tatiGmail

        Yep!
        kb5ynf
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    Amazon can differentiate even further if they can get lot more titles faster to AOD than Netflix. The online streaming version of Netflix has very limited titles and so if AOD can get more titles and specially the latest one's, the prime offer will be great! even otherwise, Kudos to Amazon for coming up with this great idea of tying prime with VOD.
    sganny
    • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

      @sganny I doubt they'll be able to get a better deal out of the studios... But who knows, Amazon is a lot bigger than Netflix and they may have some other form of leverage.
      snoop0x7b
      • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

        @snoop0x7b

        Well, you have to pay for them but you can get new releases on Amazon that aren't available on Netflix yet. From the cutout above, it didn't look like Amazon was going to offer any major competition with their Prime included streaming just yet though. The sample movies listed don't make my top 10 list anyway.
        kb5ynf
  • Perfect timing

    We were just discussing signing up with Netflix streaming service but now I may not need to. Will have to give this a shot instead being a Prime member for years.
    dave95.
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    I don't need Comcast anymore and I would love a free Kindle.
    bivariate
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    Just checked out the bulk of the Amazon free streaming library and it doesn't really look that much different from what Netflix already offers. They have a couple of newerish released movies, but only a couple and they have the entire cheesy B-rated movie catalog that Netflix has and a lot of overlapping on the titles that most people would actually be interested in watching. Add that I can watch Netflix on my Wii and can't watch Amazon VOD, as much as I'd like to at times, and Netflix definetly has the upper hand....especially with a larger content library.

    However, more competition in the video streaming/Internet TV arena is a good thing as it makes Internet TV all the more main stream and increases pressure on the movie industry to open up more and allow more recent content to be released sooner on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, et all.
    VRSpock
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    Wow, I am going to have to watch the comparison in titles on this one, this is really cool. The other nice thing is that Amazon lets you share prime with up to 4 family members, so you can each have your own account and not pay extra, something that Netflix does not offer.
    cmwade1977
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    I have been checking out what's available. There is lots of good stuff as long as you're willing to browse a little and watch things you didn't think of first. On the other hand, if you're really set on seeing a particular title, it's more difficult. But I have already added a couple of dozen VOD offerings to a new Wish List so I can keep track of them.
    datrappert
  • RE: Amazon adds streaming TV, movies to Prime: Could just be the beginning

    the advantage amazon has over netflix is that they SELL disks - the studios have netflix wait 28 days - whereas Amazon sells disks - they could go to the studios and say, look we are sellin gyour disks, lets throw in VOD as well.
    stevejg61