Amazon To Challenge Netflix With Subscription Video Service?

While many companies have recently gotten into the on-demand video business, only a small handful have attempted to follow the Netflix model of offering unlimited video streaming for a flat monthly rate. But the market leader could face a challenge in the near-future from Amazon.com, which is reportedly looking to start a subscription service that would compete directly with Netflix.

According to Reuters, the online retail giant has been chatting with people at various media companies — Time Warner, Viacom among them — to test the waters regarding a possible subscription service that would offer unlimited access to streaming movies and TV shows for a monthly fee.

Reuters’ sources say things are at an early stage and “It is still not clear if the media companies would agree to Amazon’s proposals.”

Another report from the Wall Street Journal says Amazon is considering the possibility of adding the subscription service to its existing Amazon Prime service, which gives members free 2-day shipping on many purchases for an annual fee of $79.

We’ll be sure to add a question about this news to the list we send to Netflix.

Amazon eyes subscription Web TV service [Reuters]

Comments

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  1. MattO says:

    i would totally pay for prime if there were other benefits – i order a lot from amazon, but usually dont get enough to justify the $79.

    • Darury says:

      If you have any family members that also use Amazon, that can really help defray the costs. You can have up to 3 (? – can’t recall exact number), family additions to your Prime membership. These aren’t just “hey, ship your stuff to me” type accounts, but full Prime memberships for each of them. My cousin bought Prime and set me up, so now I benefit from 2-day shipping at no cost.

    • Southern says:

      Me too. I only order from Amazon a couple times a year so Amazon Prime isn’t worth it to me, but if they were to bundle this not only would I purchase it for the streaming, but I would also replace many of my other Internet/B&M purchases with Amazon (because of the free 2 day shipping).

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Netflix can’t get a lot of movies streamed because they can’t get permissions from the movie companies. I don’t see how Amazon will do any better to convince them.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The only thing I can think of is maybe Amazon can offer studios a larger share of the revenue because the Amazon empire is built on commerce and streaming would constitute a small percentage of its revenue, whereas Netflix’s entire revenue stream is based on subscriptions for its DVD and streaming service.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Meaning have streaming be a loss leader like certain products in grocery stores? Sacrifice some profit from their streaming service to hopefully make money off other services?

    • SerenityDan says:

      I can see Amazon having better luck because they could put a link up saying something like “Like this show/movie? How about you buy the DVD/Blu-Ray from us?”

      • K-Bo says:

        They also already sell digital downloads of newer stuff. It could be one free streaming of a new show/movie and after that you have to buy the digital download.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      Deeper pockets at Amazon.

  3. PunditGuy says:

    If they add this for free to existing Prime accounts, I’ll do a happy dance.

  4. Supes says:

    I’d gladly pay $100 a year for a Prime account with unlimited streaming of movies and shows. About the same cost as a year of Netflix, plus 2-day shipping on orders? Sign me up!

    However, if they limited the streaming I’d be very hesitant. I’m a rewatcher… limited to one viewing or a small selection would be a dealbreaker.

  5. Bernardo says:

    I hope this is true. Im a prime member and my plasma at home has amazon on demand and its pretty awsome already.

  6. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I got a prime subscription for free with a .edu address and I couldn’t be happier with the service. I’m not using VOD but my roku has the ability. If they start a streaming service I might check it out, but I’m happy with Netflix so far.

  7. wiggie2gone says:

    Heck they could add a like it buy it option so they can send the rental back and get one not used in a case.

  8. keepntabs says:

    I pay for Prime, because I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, and like getting it quickly. I also subscribe to regular shipments of certain foods and household items, because the price is often better than any grocery or warehouse store; the convenience can’t be beat, either. I would totally use the VOD feature if it is included in my Prime service.

  9. theblackdog says:

    If they add this and then allow it to stream through a Roku box, it could add a lot of value, especially if they add this for prime members.

  10. Murph1908 says:

    Netflix has quite a lead on Amazon.

    You can already stream through all 3 game consoles, many TVs have Netfilx widgets built in.

    It’ll be a long road for Amazon to catch up.

  11. Thyme for an edit button says:

    It would have to be pretty awesome to get me to give up my Netflix. I can’t get everything on Netflix streaming, but then I just get the DVD instead. If Amazon doesn’t have something on streaming then that would be it.

    I have only purchased a few things on Amazon Video on Demand. I never rent from them. At $4.00 a pop for a rental movie, I’d rather just wait for my Netflix DVD or go pay $1 at the Red Box.

  12. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Amazon can suck it. Netflix has been good to me.

  13. teresa316 says:

    We have Amazon Prime – never have to think twice about ordering what we want – great service. We also have Netflix and Roku.

    My only beef with Amazon’s VOD is that you can pay for a movie or episode and then not be able to watch it. It will start to download, it stops and a message comes up that the episode is not currently available – try again later or call Amazon help.

    HEY! If it’s not available – don’t sell it to me! I’m still waiting to see a Lie to Me season 2 that I paid for yesterday.