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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 22, 2011

Amazon Unveils Buffet Style Movie Viewing

By Chris DiMarco, TMCnet Web Editor

Streaming services are available through just about every box with wires in your house these days, well maybe not the toaster. Amazon is adding functionality to the list as the company turns on a new streaming content option from its website this week. The company is now offering over 5000 movies and TV show episodes on a buffet style basis via Netflix when customers subscribe to its $79 a year Prime service. The company will start with a catalog of old standbys and expand as the demand increases.

Access to this service require that interested parties sign up for Amazon’s prime service, which also entitles them to free two day shipping and lower costs on overnight services. Once they’ve upgraded their accounts, customers will be able to watch the select movies by clicking on a small button next to them.

This new unlimited streaming option breaks out to $6.58 a month, versus $8 a month for the current cheapest streaming Netflix plan. While the price point  could entice some to this new option, the difference in price comes at a loss of 10,000-15,000 titles that will not be available via the Amazon option. There’s also no way to pay in month installments only in the $79 yearly method.  

Amazon’s foray into the streaming video market is not surprising, given the frequency with which other hardware vendors have incorporated the strategy. Currently Netflix is available through consoles and platforms including, Xbox, Playstations, Cable boxes, and Vudus. Amazons is hoping that its advantage comes in this all-you- can-eat model.

Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco