Amazon Prime offers free video streaming

Amazon Prime offers free video streamingIt looks like Apple’s going to get some more competition from Amazon, this time in the video arena. Amazon has been selling and renting videos for quite sometime now on their site, but they’ve decided to change things up a bit. Amazon is now offering their Prime members a nice little bonus: streaming movies from their library for free. That’s right, free. Well, you still have to pay $79 a year for the Prime membership, but with that you now get free video streaming with your same free faster shipping options.

Now don’t get too excited about this new feature. Amazon’s library for Prime members is still pretty small compared to that of Netflix or even Apple’s offerings. The initial library will “start with a 5000 movie and TV Show catalog…”  The other caveat is that unless you own a streaming device that will play Amazon’s content, such as the Roku, you are out of luck on watching videos on your big screen TV. You will be relegated to your computer screen for watching a movie. Now, for some this might not be an issue, but I prefer to watch movies on my 50-inch Plasma TV. I also would not hold my breath for seeing this as a add-on feature to the Apple TV, as we have seen with Netflix.

This is pretty interesting that Amazon has now decided to offer their streaming video content for free. Could it be that Amazon is seeing a shift away from physical media, and they want to jump on the bandwagon that Apple and Netflix are riding? Will this cause Apple to start offering some of their content free for streaming only? Or, will Hollywood finally let content deliverers have first crack at the newest movies, instead of having them wait a year or more?  At this point it’s anyones guess. This is definitely a shift in the right direction for streaming content.

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