Complicating matters for streaming media leaders like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon will now offer its Prime members free, instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows. "Amazon's video streaming options will look familiar to anyone who's perused Netflix's own streaming catalog, with a focus on older titles," writes PCWorld.
MediaMemo calls the move "Amazon's cautious toe-touch into Web video subscriptions" -- but "not a Netflix Killer." "Amazon certainly has the dollars and clout to compete with Netflix -- and Apple, and Microsoft, and Hulu," assures MediaMemo. "But for now, consider this a starting point, and not much more."
"Now we have yet another way to view streaming movies online," writes an exasperated VentureBeat. Predicting the move, Dan Rayburn, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, recently told CNet that Amazon had the money and audience to stimulate interest in a video service by streaming movies for free to Amazon Prime members.
Furthermore, "Rayburn is a big believer that Amazon is one of the companies best positioned to take on Netflix," CNet notes. "As a part of Amazon Prime, available for $79 a year, Amazon's new streaming service works out to a little under $7 a month," according to ReadWriteWeb. "Will this be a competitive price to lure Netflix subscribers away? And will Amazon offer a sufficient catalog for movie lovers?"
Either way, as PCWorld adds: "Amazon's launch of its new membership-based streaming service ... suggests that Blockbuster's bankruptcy woes won't be ending anytime soon."