February 22, 2011
Since hooking up a Google TV to my television, I have enjoyed watching streaming videos from YouTube, Amazon Video on Demand and Netflix but just a couple of weeks ago Amazon made a huge improvement to its Video on Demand service. It made all video rentals free for Amazon Prime members. Since the announcement, I've enjoyed several movies for free! It's been amazing.
In case Amazon Prime is new to you, it's a membership that offers unlimited free shipping on all items for $79.99 a year membership. To sweeten that deal, now you can get an additional bonus as all video rentals are included in that membership fee. For anyone already paying for Amazon Prime, this is a huge bonus and for anyone thinking about joining Amazon Prime this could be a great reason.
So the way it works is: select the movie you want to watch on Amazon VOD, click to rent the movie (it will look like you are going to be charged for the video but then upon ordering you'll receive an email that voids out the rental amount and makes it free) and enjoy. Amazon VOD has over 5,000 streaming movies and TV shows – check out some of the video titles that are available.
Though Netflix has a very large and loyal membership and is a marketing machine, this move by Amazon could start to disrupt new users from joining Netflix. Netflix currently has a much more robust catalog of video titles than Amazon, but we assume that will change over time. With this new competition, Netflix may want to start looking into some new partnerships that offer additional value and incentives. In the meantime, we'll be watching Amazon Videos On Demand and hoping that Amazon continues to add additional video titles to the mix.
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