Amazon unbundles streaming Prime video and starts a price war

Amazon unbundles streaming Prime video and starts a price war
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Amazon has announced it will unbundle the streaming content portion of a Prime membership in an effort to compete directly with Netflix.

Read more: 10 surprises you probably didn’t know about Netflix

Amazon vs. Netflix heats up

For years, Amazon and Netflix have battled it out with their respective streaming content services. Last year, Netflix announced that it was increasing its rate by $1 to $9.99 a month for new customers. Existing customers who signed up for the service when it was $7.99 were grandfathered into that rate until May 2016.

Now the price wars are heating up even more. Amazon has just now announced that if you only want streaming video from them, you can now buy it for $8.99 a month.

Sure, you won’t have access to Prime’s other benefits — free two-day shipping, access to the Amazon Prime Music library and other perks — but you’ll be paying a dollar less per month than you would with Netflix!

So Amazon’s move seems perfectly timed. It comes at a moment when Netflix — still the acknowledged industry leader — is expecting customer churn because of the price hike. Only time will tell if this move gives Amazon the edge over Netflix…

Meanwhile, for those who are afraid of commitment, Amazon will now also allow you to buy a monthly Prime membership for $10.99. Previously, the only option to have Prime was to pay $99 for the entire year.

You’ll pay a rate that’s $2.74 more a month by going monthly versus annually, but you’ll now be able to jump in and out of the program at will. For example, maybe in the past you’ve thought about signing up for Prime just during the holidays to get the free two-day shipping. Now you can do it without being locked in all year!  

Finally, for all you Netflix subscribers upset about the price hike…did you know there is a backdoor kind of way to still pay $7.99? The truth is you can avoid the increase if you’re willing to trade down.

Here’s the compromise: You can stay at the $7.99 monthly rate if you forgo high-definition (HD) programming and are fine with standard definition (SD) programming. But you’ll only be able to watch that on one screen at the same time in your home.

The choice is yours…

Read more: 5 ways to maximize your savings on Amazon

Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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