The streaming video market just got a little more interesting. Amazon announced today that it now offers 100,000 movies and TV shows available for rent. Sadly of the 100,000 titles available only 15,000 of those titles are in high definition. In addition to movies and shows to rent Amazon now also has 9,000 titles to stream with an Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon instant offers two drastically different video watching services. The first is a video rental store like Apple TV, and the second is an unlimited streaming option like Netflix. Amazon isn’t the leader in either field, but having both options available is a very powerful combination.
In a head to head battle with Netflix Amazon’s streaming service we concluded that Amazon just wasn’t quite ready to compete with Netflix. The main issues with Amazon’s Prime streaming was the lack of hardware to view the content on, and the lack of content available. Amazon is taking steps to fix both of those problems, and at a price that Netflix can’t compete with.
With all the news about Netflix increasing its prices it shines a light on the value of a Prime membership. Amazon Prime costs $79 a year which allows unlimited streaming of the content, and free 2-day shipping on most Amazon purchases. With one in five e-commerce shoppers using Amazon the Prime Membership pays for itself in saved shipping fees.
It still appears that Amazon needs to bolster its offerings and compatible devices for both its rental service and Prime membership. Amazon clearly is trying to change the landscape of streaming video content and it ultimately will be good for consumers. Having another big player to compete against our current titans of the industry will hopefully help lower prices and increase content for everyone.