Amazon Prime members get free video streaming bonus

As reported earlier this month, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is bundling streaming video service from Amazon.com with Amazon Prime memberships, creating a superset of benefits for its customers that will be provide a tough match up for competitors.

At launch, the bundle includes a relatively small amount of content, some 5,000 movies and TV shows, but it's being offered on an unlimited basis that is likely to prove appealing to some consumers. Amazon Prime gives members unlimited two-day shipping for $79 a year. The streaming video is a free add-on.

Movies and TV shows included with an Amazon Prime membership can be watched instantly on Macs, PCs and nearly 200 models of Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes that are compatible with Amazon Instant Video. The selection of videos available for instant streaming currently includes movies, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, Amadeus, Syriana, and Chariots of Fire, documentaries such as Food Inc., March of the Penguins and Ken Burns' National Parks, plus TV shows, such as Doctor Who, Farscape, Fawlty Towers and children's shows, such as Arthur, Caillou, Super Why! and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

"Millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoy the convenience of free two-day shipping," said Robbie Schwietzer, vice president of Amazon Prime. "Adding unlimited instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost is a great way to give members even more value for their $79 annual Amazon Prime membership."

The deal also will help give exposure to the company's Amazon Instant Video product, which offers customers more than 90,000 commercial-free movies and television shows to buy or rent on an a la carte basis.

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