Flash! Amazon gives free video viewing to Prime members

Flash! Amazon gives free video viewing to Prime members

There’s been a lot of talk about Amazon shark-circling the Netflix market.

Today (and this had been leaked before), Amazon announces that members of their Prime service can stream thousands of videos (movies and TV shows) for free.

Amazon press release

What is Prime?

You pay $79 a year for expedited shipping at no additional cost (usually).  It’s a package deal for your shipping for physical objects.

Amazon also gives Prime for free to students and “Moms”, but they are not affected by this new deal…they don’t get it.

What happens is that Prime members can now watch movies and TV in a manner similar to Netflix’s instant service.  You can watch it on a computer, or, with the appropriate equipment, your TV.  I have a Roku I use for Netflix.  It already had Amazon Unbox (their video service) on it, but I honestly never use it…because I don’t want to pay per movie/episode.

If I was a Prime member, though, I could watch a lot of movies and TV for free. 

Does that mean I would drop Netflix? 

I’d have to look at it.  My intuition is no, because I do still get DVDs from them (although I watch a lot more streaming).

The question would be content…what is available.

Looking at the list…well, hopefully, this will grow quickly.  I didn’t see much that was recent in TV, for example.  There were sixty TV science fiction selections.  While each one tends to be a series (rather than a single episode), only a handful of series were represented.  There was a lot of Doctor Who, both new and old, Highlander…but no Star Trek or Lost or Twilight Zone.

How do you find them?  I’ll make it easy by giving you links, but you can go to the Amazon Instant Video part and click on Prime Eligible on your left side, just like you can do with physical products.

Free Prime TV

Free Prime movies 

For people who already have Prime, this will be a “woo-hoo!”  For those who don’t, will it push them into getting it?  Maybe.  Will it cause a problem for Netflix?  Umm…I’d say a minimal impact for now, but if the library grows it coud.  Might Amazon offer an “all-you-can-eat” package like this for non-Prime members?  Possible…they really like people to become Prime members (you buy a lot more products and it’s much easier for them to manage a once-a-year payment than a once-a-purchase payment), but there still could be a market. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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