It's on ... Amazon's stand-alone streaming targets Netflix

It's on ... Amazon's stand-alone steaming targets Netflix
This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon is taking on Netflix and Hulu with a stand-alone video streaming service. Starting the week of April 18, 2016, customers can pay $8.99 a month to watch Amazon's Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to watch Prime videos was to pay $99 a year for Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping on items sold by the site. The video-only option won't come with any free shipping perks. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Amazon.com Inc. is taking on Netflix and Hulu with its own stand-alone video streaming service, just weeks before Netflix raises prices for longtime subscribers.

New customers can now pay $8.99 a month to watch Amazon's Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to watch Amazon's videos was to pay $99 a year for Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping on items sold by the site, and other perks.

At $8.99 a month, Amazon's stand-alone streaming service is $1 less than Netflix's standard membership and $1 more than Hulu's basic subscription.

Netflix said earlier this year that a "substantial number" of its longtime members who paid $7.99 monthly—and have been protected from price hikes—will now pay an additional $2 starting in May.

Amazon's decision to break off its video streaming service could cause some defections at Netflix, wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter in a note to clients.

Both companies have invested heavily in original and exclusive programing. Netflix has "Orange is the New Black," ''House of Cards" and a couple of series based on Marvel comic characters. Amazon's offerings include "Transparent," ''Mozart in the Jungle" and previously aired HBO shows. With Hulu, users can watch many current TV episodes a day after they air on a network. Hulu is also growing its exclusive offerings, with "The Mindy Project" and "Difficult People."

Netflix Inc. declined to comment Monday. Representatives for Amazon and Hulu did respond to a request for comment.

Amazon may be a rival, but Netflix is also an Amazon customer. The Los Gatos, California-based streaming company uses Amazon Web Services to store its content and help run parts of its site and apps.

Besides its stand-alone video service, Amazon is also offering a new pay-as-you-go option for its full Prime membership for $10.99 a month and comes with free two-day shipping, video streaming and other perks. Amazon's website said that users who opt to pay $10.99 monthly, instead of the $99 annual fee, can cancel at any time. The $99 a year option remains the cheapest way for most people to get both free two-day shipping and video streaming, equaling about $8.25 a month.

Shares of Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. rose $5.22 to $630.11 in afternoon trading Monday. Netflix Inc. shares fell $4.44, or 4 percent, to $107.07.

It's on ... Amazon's stand-alone steaming targets Netflix
In this Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, a person displays Netflix on a tablet in North Andover, Mass. Amazon is taking on Netflix and Hulu with a stand-alone video streaming service. Starting the week of April 18, 2016, customers can pay $8.99 a month to watch Amazon's Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to watch Prime videos was to pay $99 a year for Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping on items sold by the site. The video-only option won't come with any free shipping perks. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Streaming services: What Amazon, Netflix and Hulu cost

Amazon is taking on Netflix and Hulu, offering a stand-alone streaming service for the first time.

Starting this week, the e-commerce company says customers can now pay $8.99 a month just to watch Amazon's Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to get access to Amazon's videos was to pay $99 a year for Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping on items sold by the site. The video-only service does not come with free shipping.

Here's how the Amazon, Netflix and Hulu streaming services compare:

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

Price: $8.99 a month for stand-alone streaming.

Offerings: Movies and past seasons of TV shows, such as "The Sopranos" and "Downton Abbey." Original programs include "Transparent," ''Mozart in the Jungle" and "Catastrophe."

NETFLIX

Price: $9.99 for standard membership.

Offerings: Movies and already-aired TV shows, including "Friends" and "Breaking Bad." Original series include "House of Cards," ''Orange is the New Black" and "Jessica Jones."

HULU

Price: $7.99 a month for its basic subscription with commercials. An ad-free version costs $11.99 a month.

Offerings: Current TV episodes, such as "Empire" and "Modern Family," a day after they air on network TV. Original series include "The Mindy Project," ''Difficult People" and "Casual." Movies are included.


Explore further

Hulu launches $12 ad-free streaming service

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: It's on ... Amazon's stand-alone streaming targets Netflix (2016, April 18) retrieved 16 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-amazon-netflix-stand-alone-video-streaming.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
7 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments