Amazon Prime members to get unlimited video streaming, a la Netflix?

2011 may be an important year for Amazon. The company is set to launch its own Android app store and now it may be taking on Netflix as well. The online retailer has had On Demand video streaming for some time now, but the service has not taken off like competing products Hulu and Netflix. However, Engadget reports that Amazon may take on Netflix directly, offering free unlimited streaming of more than 5,000 videos to those who subscribed to Prime, a free two-day shipping service Amazon offers at a cost of $79.99 per year.

amazon-video-free-unlimited-streaming-leaked-screen-jan-2011

The screenshot above shows a button with the words “unlimited streaming” and “Prime instant videos” on it. We are unable to verified the accuracy of this screenshot as Amazon has removed this feature (if it ever existed). Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors that Amazon is developing an instant streaming service. Back in December, rumors circulated that the online retailer is developing a competitor to Netflix. The company’s recent purchase of Lovefilm, the European equivalent of Netflix, seems to verify this rumor.

Does Amazon have a shot against Netflix? Well, maybe. At $79.99 per year ($6.67 per month), Amazon has already undercut its competition on price. Netflix charges $7.99 for its Instant Streaming-only service, which adds up to $95.88 per year. However, Netflix has signed many high profile exclusive deals for content and has a larger library of streaming titles. Additionally, Amazon will have major catchup to do if it hopes to get its software on the wide array of devices Netflix is available on such as the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, iOS devices, several IP TVs, and a number of set-top boxes like Boxee and Roku. Is Amazon prepared to spend large amounts to fast track app development?

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