I've been a subscriber to Amazon's Prime service for a while now for the free shipping it affords. But now there's a new reason to sign up in the form of a full-on free streaming media service not unlike the one offered by Netflix.
Those who already have Prime subscriptions can start streaming immediately, or you can sign up for $79 a year. That works out to an ominous $6.66 a month, which is cheaper than the comparable Netflix streaming-only option. Of course, there's also a lot less content currently available on the Amazon side. Reports say that there's about 5,000 titles available now, which is dwarfed by Netflix's 20,000.
While perusing the Amazon selection, it becomes immediately apparent that they're drawing from a very similar pool to the one Netflix offers, minus all of the Starz Play stuff. I picked Louis CK: Chewed Up as my first viewing option and it loaded quickly. The quality was familiar, offereing a very similar experience to just about every other streaming service I've tried (which is a bunch).
Unless you're going to use the free shipping offered by the Amazon account (which you very well might), Netflix is still a much better buy in terms of a streaming service. But, the streaming landscape is getting even more complicated as new players join fray. It seems inevitable that RedBox will be launching their own service as well.
While competition is good, it will be interesting to see if the studios and providers can avoid the content exclusivity deals that drive customers insane. Only time will tell, but until then, there are already plenty of ways to stream Analyze This to pass the time.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.