Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amazon Instant Video is Live and Streaming

Amazon has launched their Instant Video service which is a re-brand and update to the VOD (Video on Demand) service. The service offers many movies and shows (about 5,000) at no additional cost to people who have paid the $79 annual Amazon Prime subscription. The movies and shows are still available at the prior cost (usually $0.99 - $3.99 per rental) for non-members. Prime members do not get to watch everything for "free" though so be sure to browse the list if you are considering signing up.

They have an uphill battle I think. From skimming the movies, most are on Netflix streaming and the annual (single) $79 charge is a hard sell. To at least be in competition they need to spread that out to monthly charge. For now, this is a nice additional benefit for Prime members but is not intended as only being a movie streaming subscription service. Knowing Amazon I am sure it will be in the future as they work on pricing and their catalog. Plus, the quality of the streaming service is excellent from my experience.

Don't forget that Redbox streaming is on the way also!

With all the streaming services the space is getting crowded and competitive. This can be a good thing for pricing, a bad thing for content scatter, and also make things very complex for new consumers. I see consumers having 1 or 2 paid subscription services. Let the battle begin for the number two slot as Netflix is clearly number one today with its massive library and its wide integration on so many devices.
Jeff Bezos on Amazon Instant Video