Amazon not considering streaming-only service

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

Even though Amazon's Prime Instant Video Service has enough legs to stand up against Netflix, the company has no plans to separate it as an individual service.

As it stands now, anyone who wants access to Amazon's collection of thousands of instant streaming videos, which can be watched on a myriad Internet-connected devices just like Netflix, will have to sign up for Amazon Prime.

Amazon not considering streaming-only serviceAmazone Prime first launched as a benefit that allowed customers to receive unlimited free two-day shipping on nearly all Amazon-inventoried items for a $79 annual fee. It drew a modicum of interest, but it has widely expanded since Amazon began offering the online video streaming at no additional charge.

If you do the math, it ends up being just $6.58 per month for access to Amazon Prime, cheaper than any comparable streaming plan offered by Netflix. The problem is that one full year, $79, is required upfront and is a turn-off for budget-conscious consumers. It only costs a few bucks to sign up for Netflix and begin streaming instantly.

But there's another barrier - many people don't even know about Amazon Prime Instant Video. It doesn't have nearly the name recognition of Netflix or Hulu. So some have wondered if perhaps the online retailer might split off that service and start to market it directly as a Netflix competitor.

Apparently that won't happen anytime soon. Gigaom.com quoted Amazon's head of digital video content acquisition Brad Beale as saying, "The bundle of benefits that come with Amazon Prime make perfect sense to offer to customers. The way that Prime Instant Video is offered today—we’re going to continue that approach at least into the near future."