Amazon readies streaming service, free for Prime members?By Jose Vilches
Amazon is reportedly getting ready to launch a Netflix-like video streaming service that would be available as an add-on to its $79-per-year Prime service. Current subscribers would presumably get the option at no extra cost, while even for new subscribers the service would come in cheaper on a yearly basis than Netflix's $8-per-month ($96 annually) Watch Instantly offering -- not to mention that they get a few free shipping bonuses as well.
Rumors of Amazon either purchasing Netflix or launching a competing option have been heating up over the last few weeks, and the latest tidbit comes via screenshots submitted to Engadget by a Prime user touting "unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows." Whether someone at Amazon accidentally jumped the gun on the launch is unclear, but apparently the option has since disappeared from the tipster's account.
For what it's worth, Engadget notes that several variations of the primeinstantvideos.com domain name have recently been registered by Amazon-owned DPReview. The latest development follows Amazon's recent purchase of Europe's Netflix equivalent, called Lovefilm, and a report by the Wall Street Journal in December citing a source "familiar with the matter", who claimed a streaming service was on the way and would be tied in with Amazon Prime.