Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amazon Streaming Video

Netflix should be worried. Amazon announced their new streaming video service last week, and it is included in Amazon Prime at no additional cost. Amazon Prime membership costs $79 annually and offers free two-day shipping and cheap one-day shipping on most items. Now, it also offers instant streaming video. I thought Prime membership was worth the cost prior to the announcement. It's only better now.

I'm already contemplating closing my Netflix account. I pay $16 a month ($192 annually) for the option of receiving two DVDs at a time. Netflix costs more, doesn't include cheap Amazon shipping, and doesn't offer me streaming videos. Amazon doesn't have the same selection yet, but the section is big (and it is free for me!).

Amazon supports streaming videos from day one on Linux, my platform of choice, but Netflix doesn't think that the Linux market (probably 1-5% of computer desktops) is big enough for them. According to Netflix execs, "Netflix can't be everything to everyone." Fair enough.