Netflix has gone from a mail-order DVD subscription service to a streaming Internet video service. In the company's last quarterly report, it announced that streaming had surpassed DVDs as the preferred method for content delivery and just last month it began offering a streaming-only option in the U.S.Over the last year,
Seeing this success, then, it doesn't come as a surprise that Amazon - the world's largest Internet retailer - is looking to make a subscription-based, streaming-only option of its own to compete with Netflix.
Already, Amazon offers streaming television shows and movies through its Video On Demand product, which is available on both computers as well as Internet TV devices, but this provides more of an à la carte offering. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is "developing a Netflix-like subscription service that would offer TV shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter. That service would be included as a bundle with its Amazon Prime shipping service, which costs $79 a year, those people said."
Amazon Prime is a program that gives "unlimited fast shipping" for frequent Amazon shoppers. It's interesting that Amazon would focus so much on the form of content delivery and package it together with traditional shipping. Will Amazon users really have to continue paying à la carte for most content and only get a Netflix-type option if they subscribe to a service meant for traditional shipping fees? The Business Insider points out that, at $79 per year, the service would beat out Netflix at its own game, which comes in at $95 annually "and doesn't include free shipping on purchases from Amazon."
What do you think about Amazon getting into the game? Will the heating-up of the streaming video space only lead to more expensive Internet plans? Or will competition lower the cost of streaming video to make up for it?