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Amazon launches unlimited streaming for Prime members

By Jos
Feb 22, 2011
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  1. It looks like rumors of Amazon launching a Netflix-like video streaming service were spot on. The company has just announced that subscribers to its $79 per year Prime service will now have access to more than 5,000 commercial free, instant streaming TV shows and movies at no extra cost. That's on top of the convenience of unlimited free two-day shipping -- a benefit that can be shared with family members using separate accounts -- and yet it would still come in cheaper on a yearly basis than Netflix's $8-per-month ($96 annually) Watch Instantly offering.

    Read the whole story
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I took a quick glance at their selection -- it appears that Amazon DOES have some content that Netflix doesn't, but the vast majority of it overlaps with Netflix. Not too exciting, but I know it will get better.

    What does excite me about this is that Amazon has a huge presence, so this news helps concretize my Utopian vision of being able to stream any movie anywhere. Despite the huge success Netflix has been, their library of streaming movies is still very limited. With Amazon on board, it is going to be tougher for movie publishers to deny making their content available via streaming... I hope...
  3. Raswan

    Raswan TS Enthusiast Posts: 280

    Apparently the free student Prime accounts do not qualify, which seems absolutely retarded. First, how much does that cost them? I can't imagine there are that many free student accounts. Second, for me and I bet many others, it might have provided the final incentive to pay for a Prime membership when our student one ends.

    This stinginess just tells me as a customer that their seeming good-faith move to include it in the Prime membership is likely a short-lived one. They'll probably either increase the price of the Prime membership across the board or include a "premiere" option for thirty or forty bucks more within a year to pay for their acquisition of Lovefilm or whatever it was called. Combine this with the fact that their library is mediocre right now and the video/tv streaming library is--like the rest of that gd website--hampered by the most cumbersome, ***-backward search methodology ever, and I'll be sticking with my Netflix account.

    Only good thing about this, as Rick mentioned, is it will likely boost Netflix's offerings and increase the already solid presence of streaming movies and tv.
  4. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 298

    You can view the selections for Amazon Instant Video here.

    1.) Old or obscure content is essentially all that is offered.
    2.) Some of these are available for free via Hulu or SnagFilms
    3.) Over 55% of all content is rated 2 out 5 stars, or less.
    4.) The link at the beginning of this post is their best material, which I find to be extremely lame.

    Amazon Instant Video is a Netflix clone, minus the ability to have movies worth watching mailed to you.
  5. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +90

    This.

    I was going to rant about something similar (especially the student Prime thing), but you just took my words.

    Netflix is still superior.
  6. NunjaBusiness

    NunjaBusiness TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Are you serious. You are going to complain that the FREE service you receive (which MANY other people pay for) is not GIVING you enough? Do you have any idea what it costs to provide 2-day air shipments on EVERY SINGLE item that qualifies?

    Apparently not. Also, there are quite a lot of people who take advantage of the freebie for students, possibly tens of thousands or more.

    Stop QQing and focus on making some money instead of sponging off the world.
  7. Raswan

    Raswan TS Enthusiast Posts: 280

    Well, nunjabusiness, yes, I am evaluating their new service and the overall theme is of the evaluation is negative. What you don't seem to get is that I am not complaining about the free service they offer to students for a year. I am in fact quite happy with it. But they are clearly trying to move in on Netflix's video streaming market with this acquisition and offering, this is the beginning of their campaign, and that is what I am writing about. Not including the free student prime in this offering clearly suggests the future direction of their streaming initiative. But you don't even engage with that.

    I'm not going to waste time debating how much Amazon makes or loses from their free shipping, especially since you didn't provide any hard data. Do you know how amazon positions themselves to make money on the prime accounts? Apparently not. Usually what happens is that amazon directly sells for a couple of dollars more than the cheapest vendor, and I pick that up because of the free two-day shipping, and I find it easier to deal with Amazon than a third party. Nor do you offer anything beyond your guess of "possible tens of thousands or more" in terms of how many take advantage of the student prime. Which, again, they offer for free. So kindly shut your mouth if you are not going to acknowledge the complexities of the amazon marketplace. You know they wouldn't do it if they didn't project a net profit. Why don't you take a couple of minutes and compose a response less flaming and more deliberate, if you can.

    Also, might want to take it easy on the caps lock (you're wearing yours out, and a well-composed argument doesn't need it to make a point. It's like the typing equivalent of a red face, teary eyes, and raised voice). Makes you sound like you are QQing yourself :)


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