Netflix may still be the go-to service when it comes to streaming video, but Amazon's doing all it can to make its Prime Instant Video an attractive deal for $80 a year. Today, Amazon announced that it has signed a deal with Warner Brothers to bring its shows to Prime, including an exclusive deal for Fringe and The West Wing.
Amazon didn't get to be, well, Amazon by doing anything half-assed. The company has been applying its can-do mentality to the streaming video space. While Netflix spent the last six months stumbling and bumbling while its stock price plummeted, Amazon has quietly been bringing new TV titles to its Prime Instant Video service at a rapid pace. Today, the company announced that it has signed a deal with Discovery Communications to bring shows from Animal Planet, TLC and the Discovery family of stations to Prime.
Amazon announced a deal with Viacom today that brings it one step closer to truly competing with Netflix as a streaming video service. Amazon Prime Video will soon be streaming TV shows from MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central to Prime subscribers. The 2,000 new titles will push Amazon’s Prime offerings to roughly 15,000.
Amazon just upped the ante in the eBook reader wars by announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership. It's called the "Kindle Owners' Lending Library," which is, well, a lending library for Kindle owners who are currently or plan to become members of Amazon's $79/year Prime service. The online library gives Prime members access to over 5,000 books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers.
Remember when “Netflix” and “Streaming video” were virtually synonyms? Yeah, those were the days. Then, in the course of three disastrous months, Netflix jacked prices by 60 percent, announced it was splitting off the DVD business, and then announced that, no, actually, it was going to keep DVDs in house after all. The wacky moves sent investors fleeing like rats and confused customers looking for alternatives – alternatives like Amazon Prime Instant Video. The service offers unlimited streaming and Amazon has signed several new content deals since Prime Instant Video’s launch in March. But is it a Netflix killer? Let’s find out.
While book publishers have been, for the most part, friendly to the idea of e-books – at least since the rise of the Kindle and its ilk – the shift from dead trees to lively pixels still scare many in the industry. Meanwhile, on the TV and movie front, streaming providers like Hulu Plus have been bucking heads with traditional content producers who are fearful of devaluing their content. A new report says Amazon’s looking to take all those anxieties and mix them up in one big worry stew by introducing a Netflix-like subscription e-book service to Amazon Prime accounts.
Several companies are scrambling to enter the arena with Netflix before it’s too late, and if an Engadget tipster is right, Amazon might just be the first serious competitor to step up to the plate. Screenshots were obtained by a reader which showcased an unlimited video streaming section that was included as part of his Prime membership. At just $79 per year the free shipping alone made a Prime membership worthwhile for many Amazon customers, but if this deal ends up being true, then the pot has been sweetened considerably.
The watch instantly section claims to offer “unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows”, and the lineup seems to mirror Netflix’s current offering fairly closely. The resolution advertised was only 480p, but presumably this too might change in time.
Unfortunately nobody else has been able to duplicate the screenshots so they are either a really convincing Photoshop project, or an accidental leak/preview of what the future holds for Prime members. What do you think? Does this pass the sniff test, or do you smell a scam?