Amazon adds unlimited video streaming to Prime members
This week, Amazon.com announced unlimited movie and TV streaming to its Prime member subscribers. Prime is a premium membership at Amazon which provides free two-day shipping to all orders placed on Amazon.com for a yearly fee of $79.
The streaming video isn’t the same as Amazon Instant Video, with its collection of over 90,000 movie and television titles (allegedly the largest streaming collection in the USA). No, it’s a new service for Amazon Prime which includes 5,000 movies and TV shows, which initially include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, Amadeus, Syriana, and Chariots of Fire, documentaries such as Food Inc., March of the Penguins and Ken Burns’ National Parks, TV shows, such as Doctor Who, Farscape, Fawlty Towers and children’s shows, such as Arthur, Caillou, Super Why! and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
At $79 per year, this service is comparable to monthly subscription services from Hulu Plus and Netflix, which are $7.99. The math makes Amazon Prime $6.58 per month. However, Hulu and Netflix have a much larger collection of titles available to them. The Amazon press release doesn’t make it clear if these Prime videos are available for streaming on electronic devices such as Samsung Blu-ray Disc players or Vizio HDTVs the way Amazon Instant Watch is currently available.
Personally, this seems more like an incentive to sign you up for Amazon Prime two-day shipping than a real challenge to Netflix. They must think members of Prime are more likely to purchase items on Amazon.com than other websites or brick and mortar stores. And for existing Prime members, a way for them to be introduced to Amazon Instant Watch where they might rent or purchase movies. But this is worth keeping an eye on.
Press Release after the jump.
SEATTLE, Feb 22, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of a new benefit for Amazon Prime members: unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows. This new benefit is being added at no additional cost — Prime membership will continue to be $79 per year. Amazon Prime’s all-you-can-eat free Two-Day Shipping has already attracted millions of members. Customers can learn more about an Amazon Prime one-month free trial and start watching instantly at www.amazon.com/primevideos.
“Millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoy the convenience of free Two-Day Shipping,” said Robbie Schwietzer, vice president of Amazon Prime. “Adding unlimited instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost is a great way to give members even more value for their $79 annual Amazon Prime membership.”
Movies and TV shows included with an Amazon Prime membership can be watched instantly on Macs, PCs and nearly 200 models of Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes that are compatible with Amazon Instant Video. The selection of videos available for instant streaming currently includes movies, such as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, “Amadeus,” “Syriana,” and “Chariots of Fire,” noted documentaries such as “Food Inc.,” “March of the Penguins” and “Ken Burns’ National Parks,” plus TV shows, such as “Doctor Who,” “Farscape,” “Fawlty Towers” and children’s shows, such as “Arthur,” “Caillou,” “Super Why!” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
Amazon Prime is a membership program that offers customers unlimited free Two-Day Shipping with no minimum purchase requirement for only $79 a year. Millions of items are eligible, including books, home and garden products, electronics, video games, clothing, accessories and beauty products. With the introduction of Prime instant videos, free trial and paid Amazon Prime members in the U.S. now also have unlimited instant access to more than 5,000 videos.
Amazon Instant Video is a digital video service that offers customers more than 90,000 commercial-free movies and television shows to buy or rent on an a la carte basis. New-release movies are often available as soon as they are released on DVD, and many TV shows are available the day after their first broadcast. Amazon Instant Video also offers thousands of movies and TV shows in high definition. With Amazon Instant Video, customers can watch instantly on Macs, PCs, and nearly 200 Internet connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes. To learn more about Amazon Instant Video on your TV, visit www.amazon.com/watchontv.
“In addition to now offering unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows to Amazon Prime members, we continue to offer all customers more than 90,000 movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video,” said Cameron Janes, director of Amazon Instant Video. “With Amazon Instant Video customers can rent or purchase hit movies, such as ‘The Social Network’ as well as purchase the latest TV shows available the day-after they broadcast.”
Customers who receive Prime shipping benefits through our Amazon Student and Amazon Mom programs can upgrade to receive paid Prime benefits for just $79 a year.
For more information on Amazon Prime and Prime instant videos and to start an Amazon Prime free trial, visit www.amazon.com/primevideos.
For more information on Amazon Instant Video, visit www.amazon.com/instantvideo.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle, Kindle 3G and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle 3G and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, and www.amazon.it. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.