Amazon is ditching its rather unpopular video download service, Unbox, in favor of a new service called “Video on Demand.” The major difference between the two is the way the TV shows and movies will be delivered, with the new service streaming them immediately through your browser instead of requiring an additional Windows-based video player like Unbox.
The online retailer is pitching the service against Netflix and the iTunes Store, with some 40,000 TV shows and movies from pretty much every studio and network except HBO, Disney and Disney-owned ABC – which are all Apple iTunes allies. One notable feature, dubbed “Your Video Library,” lets you download movies to your ‘online vault’ so they are available to you wherever you might log in.
The new service will reportedly be accessible to a limited number of invited Amazon.com customers today before it opens more broadly to other users later this summer. Having run a successful DRM-free only music download store, Amazon will hopefully bring some innovation and give a big boost to the video on demand business.