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

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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.

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