So When Does Amazon Prime Instant Video Take on Nextflix Directly?

By  |  Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

Amazon Letter

Good news for Amazon Prime members: has signed a deal with Viacom that gives its Amazon Prime Instant Video service access to a lot more stuff–from Jersey Shore to Dora the Explorer. It now offers more than 15,000 streaming videos to Prime members at no additional charge.

Netflix seems to be shy about disclosing the number of streaming videos it has–its FAQ just says “thousands”–but Roku’s site says it’s “over 20,000” and I’ve also seen a figure of 25,000 quoted. In either case, Amazon Prime, which started out a year ago with just 5,000 titles, appears to be closing in.

But Amazon still isn’t quite marketing it as a Netflix archival. The video streaming is a freebie for those of us who pay $79 for discounted shipping of physical products, not a standalone service with a standalone price tag. That lets it float under the radar and makes it sound like a bountiful bonus rather than a skimpy selection.

My guess is that at some point, Amazon will start treating Prime Instant Video like it wants to take on Netflix in a seriously manner. That’ll presumably involve offering it at a similar (or lower?) monthly price.

The logical time to do so is when the catalogs have roughly the same quantity of movies and TV shows. I wonder if it’ll happen by the end of this year?


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. CableCutter Says:

    Amazon Prime Instant Video won't take on Netflix in my house until there's some connected device support. Regardless of the library, it needs to work with my Tivo or Wii or AppleTV or something so I don't have to drag out the cables and connect my laptop. Only supporting the Kindle Fire won't get them the adoption they need to truly compete.

  2. Jamie Says:

    Works on my Roku.

  3. sittiininlab Says:

    It also works with Tivo2, 3, and though I don't own one, I think it works on the Premier as well.

  4. George C Says:

    Here's the thing, it supports Amazon Instant /NOT/ Amazon Prime Instant. You have to pay per showing.

  5. sittiininlab Says:

    Hmm, may have to rethink my response. I know instant video works on my Tivo, but I don't know if Amazon instant prime will work. (The difference is downloads v. streaming. Amazon instant videos can be downloaded, but Amazon Prime Instant is streaming only.

  6. CableAlreadyCut Says:

    @CableCutter – Not that I’m trying to be one of *those* guys, but Amazon Instant Video is already on lots of devices. And I mean lots.

  7. George C Says:

    This is Instant, there is no guarantee that any of these work with instant Prime

  8. CableCutter Says:

    I can only speak about the devices I own, but I know my Tivo Series 3 HD allows for Amazon Instant Video downloads but not Prime Instant Streams. Kind of a bummer. But Roku boxes are cheap. Maybe when Amazon's Prime library grows, I'll try it out. Thanks for the tip!

  9. Ambrose Little Says:

    For me, they just need to add an Instant Queue, and I'm set. That's the most aggravating thing about trying to watch Amazon on my connected TV.

  10. Fred Says:

    Not sure I understand the argument about cost. Amazon Prime is already cheaper than a Netflix streaming plan. Granted, you have to pay for a year up front, so maybe they can offer it month-to-month for the same price as Netflix. In any event, while Netflix's total library may be larger, their library of things worth watching is virtually identical.

  11. gus Says:

    Jersey Shore ????

    They actually expect me to watch Jersey Shore ? Really ?