Amazon to take on Netflix, Hulu with $8/month Prime membership

By on November 6, 2012, 10:30 AM

Amazon’s Prime membership has always seemed like a good deal to me: free two-day shipping (or cheap overnight) plus access to thousands of videos and Kindle books for $79 a year. That’s less than what you pay annually to access Netflix and Hulu’s catalogs while getting a few extra perks. But if you’re feeling uneasy about paying for a whole year upfront the company will offer the option to be a Prime customer for $8 a month.

While that actually adds up to more money on a yearly basis, the move may help bring in new users and is seen as a direct assault on competitors like Netflix and Hulu, both of which charge the same $8 a month for their own streaming services. It should be noted, however, that the latter two offer a lot more content than Amazon.

The $7.99/month Amazon Prime option is not currently showing up for all users, apparently -- I’m sill pitched the $79/year option when logging out of my Prime account. But some users have reported success when switching browsers to Firefox.

The retailer hasn’t officially announced the news so it’s possible the new plan is still part of a limited roll out test. If anything, it will come in handy for those planning on doing some holiday shopping at Amazon.

In other Amazon news, the company is expanding its locker drop off service, which allows customers to order products online and pick them up at physical locations, to a number of Staples stores throughout the U.S.  The online retailer has partnered with a number of brick-and-mortar stores in the US and UK to house the lockers since late last year, including 7-Eleven, Rite-Aid, Safeway, and Walgreen’s.

Customers using the service receive an email with a pickup code, which is entered on a touchscreen to open the locker containing the package. Shoppers have three days from the delivery date to pick up the package.




User Comments: 13

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Just more good news for us consumers.

Wicasawakan Wicasawakan said:

I am so sick of Netflix being so late in getting anything new to the public and when it is posted as "new" it's just old movies or shows they just finally got around to posting. If Amazon presents a better choice, I'll tell Netflix to take a hike.

Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

I've been wanting to try Amazon Prime, but I just never had 80 dollars in spare change to throw at it. Now that I can just pay 8 dollars a month, I'll give it a shot.

Guest said:

I just checked Amazon (via FF) and it currently still has the 1 year plan. I'd really like to try out a monthly plan with them. Netflix will not take a gift or debit card, so I can't use them. Amazon has no problem with them, so that will be good me.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest - Netflix takes Paypal. Which can be prepaid through a bank account or moneypak card.

I'm just curious if my dvd or PS3 will play Amazon. I watch Netflix on my cell phone, laptop, or television. Will Amazon Prime be just as convenient?

Guest said:

I am so sick of Netflix being so late in getting anything new to the public and when it is posted as "new" it's just old movies or shows they just finally got around to posting. If Amazon presents a better choice, I'll tell Netflix to take a hike.

It's not Netflix's fault, actually. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix#Disc_rental (bottom of it)

Starting January 6, 2010, Netflix reached an agreement with Warner Brothers Pictures to delay renting new releases for 28 days from their retail release in an attempt to help studios sell more physical media at retail outlets. A similar deal with Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox was reached on April 9, 2010.[

Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

Guest - Netflix takes Paypal. Which can be prepaid through a bank account or moneypak card.

I'm just curious if my dvd or PS3 will play Amazon. I watch Netflix on my cell phone, laptop, or television. Will Amazon Prime be just as convenient?

I don't know about a cell phone app, but thanks to a fairly recent ps3 update, you can watch amazon prime streaming just like Netflix and Hulu.

treetops treetops said:

I am so sick of Netflix being so late in getting anything new to the public and when it is posted as "new" it's just old movies or shows they just finally got around to posting. If Amazon presents a better choice, I'll tell Netflix to take a hike.

The new means new on Netflix. Sure yeah if someone offers a better service for the same price why not switch? However the article states Amazon has less content.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've had a Prime membership now for the last 2 1/2 years, with another 6 months to go on my current membership. With as many purchases as I make from Amazon, paying yearly is well worth it for me. I'm happy though, that I now have a choice to pay monthly.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You're so pampered in the US.

Renrew Renrew said:

As a Prime member of Amazon, it bears repeating that the prime membership entitles you to a very limited streaming Catalog. As of late Amazon has added interviews with stars of TV shows and some Hunting and Fishing shorts in order to make their content appears larger. Most of them are a waste.

Netflix has not added anything of note to their programs and is close to being cancelled by me.

Hulu Plus is still streaming commercial free B Movies, their TV replays, however, are starting to to increase their ad frequency.

All in all, the $8.00 a month streaming packages are starting to be worthless to Veteran subscribers like me.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I had a free Prime membership for 6 months? for being a student. I really took advantage of the free shipping, ended up purchasing several things that weren't very expensive just because no shipping. Bought either an HDMI cable or a Cat-6 cable from them over monoprice just because monoprice's shipping made it more expensive.

However, I was incredibly disappointed that the student Prime didn't include their streaming selection. I went through the hoops of getting it set up for my bluray player only to find out I'd still have to purchase what I wanted to watch. Guess I can't be too picky when it was free though.

Once I start making some reliable income again I may hop on this $8 a month thing, a couple small purchases and I've paid for it with the money saved on shipping.

Guest said:

I have Amazon Prime Student, so I can't do this, but if you have a full-fledged Amazon Prime account, you can SHARE your Amazon Prime shipping benefits with up to 4 additional people for free. You can't share the streaming video or the Kindle service, but you can share the shipping benefits.

That means a 1 year membership could cost you as little as $16 total. If you don't have Amazon Prime now see if someone you know is willing to share it with you and you could split the cost!

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