February 22, 2011
| by Rachel Cericola
For weeks, we’ve been hearing that Amazon had planned to add unlimited streaming to its Prime plan. Now, the retailer has made the move official.
For a while now, Amazon has been offering free 2-day shipping as a way to attract subscribers. However, unless you do a lot of online shopping, the $79 yearly fee may not be economical. Adding unlimited movies and TV shows to the equation certainly makes it more enticing.
It also makes it some serious competition for Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the rumored Redbox streaming service. When you break it down, the Amazon service is less than $7 per month—lower than any streaming service so far. Both Netflix and Hulu Plus are priced at $7.99 per month. However, like Netflix, not every title will be available for streaming.
Amazon Prime subscribers will get access to more than 5,000 movies and TV shows, all of which are instant and commercial-free. The full Amazon Instant Video service features about 90,000 titles. Amazon Prime users can tap into the service using Mac and PC computers, as well as TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. The site features a full list of compatible devices. For now,however, it doesn’t look like mobile devices are included with the Prime service.
Amazon is currently offering new customers a one-month trial of the Prime service. After that, expect to pay $79 per year.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.