An advertisement for a bundled streaming video service from Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN) briefly appeared on the etailer's site this weekend, sparking rumors that it might finally be rolling out its long-rumored entry into the streaming video market, ready to take on Netflix, which last week announced it had topped 20 million subscribers.
Amazon.com has been considered a long shot in the race for streaming media dominance. But the potential of a streaming service being bundled with its Amazon Prime service--which provides free two-day shipping to members for $79 a year--could be a player, analysts said. An ad for the service appeared on Amazon for a short time this weekend before being taken down, reports Engadget. The blog said the screen shot highlighted content from the BBC America and PBS and said, "Your Amazon Prime membership now includes unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost."
An analyst said Amazon's ability to "superset" Netflix, giving members streaming video as part of a service that might be viewed as more valuable, Amazon Prime, could give it more appeal. An annual subscription to Netflix's streaming--only service is $7.99 a month, or $95.88 a year.
The question, obviously, would be, can Amazon provide free shipping and enough content to make it worthwhile to movie fans?
Amazon in January acquired the remaining shares in LoveFilm, currently viewed as "the Netflix of Europe."
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