Amazon is rolling out a free streaming video component to their loyalty program that effectively undercuts Netflix by almost $2 per month.
Netflix is now 20 million Americans strong and offers all the TV and movies you could want for $8 each month. The original knock on Netflix’s streaming feature was that it didn’t have much content. But that has changed over time as Netflix signed more deals with content providers.
It’s gotten to the point where Netflix has had a virtual monopoly on streaming TV and movies…until now.
Amazon has introduced unlimited streaming video as a feature of its Amazon Prime membership program. Amazon Prime’s initial attraction was free 2-day shipping on most online purchases with no minimum order size. The cost? $79 annually.
The inclusion of the free streaming service is targeted to appeal to the occasional Amazon shopper. The online retailer hopes casual customers will join for the video and then shop more often because of the free shipping that’s also available to them. Right now there are only 5,000 programming choices on Prime, but that’s expected to grow quickly.
I love the idea. Competition creates innovation and it creates more choice. If you are already a Prime person, then the streaming is there for you right now. If you’re not, you can test this option with a real gotcha: There’s a 1-month free trial available online, but if you don’t cancel properly, it’s really a $79 look-see into the service.
But do it right and you’ll have another alternative that you can test for cheap streaming video. I love this idea of on demand when you wish; paying around $6.50 (Amazon Prime) or $8 (Netflix) a month sure beats paying $80 or $100 to the cable or satellite company!