Amazon may offer streaming video service subscriptions


Amazon already offers VOD streaming content that can be purchased online, but their current business model requires customers to make a purchase for each movie, TV show or video that they want to watch. The LA Times reported that a new Amazon unlimited movie streaming service to compete head to head with Netflix’s service, could go live as soon as the end of the month, though concrete plans have yet to be etched out.

When launched, the service will be part of the company’s Amazon Prime offering. Customers currently paying $79 a year for unlimited shipping would also get free access to streaming movies. That’s less the least expensive Netflix plan, which is some $95 a year, but likely has more content than Amazon is likely to launch with.

Amazon has held talks with the Hollywood studios and several independents about acquiring content for a subscription movie streaming service similar to Netflix, according to an LA Times story, which added Amazon has already secured rights to some independently produced movies but has yet to strike a deal with any of Hollywood’s big six studios.

Amazon has told studio execs the company wanted to launch the service in early to mid-February but has delayed those plans until at least later in the month to deal with some technical glitches and secure more content. Other variables include whether Amazon is willing to pay as much for content as Netflix, and how it might affect the sale of DVDs and the value of current and future distribution deals with cable nets.

Hulu has also talked to numerous studios about adding films to its subscription service Hulu Plus, which currently has a small number of movies.

RBR-TVBR observation: Seems everyone wants to get in this space. Comcast’s XFinity offers it as well. It’s not just being able to buy and download something online, it’s about on-demand streaming without having to pay to keep it. Folks only collected DVD movies because there was no other option; Brick and mortar is long gone; mail delivery is diminishing; DVD sales are way down. Companies no longer are interested in waiting for sales to diminish by not capitalizing on new technologies as soon as they can. Looks like Amazon is working as fast as it can to roll this out.