Netflix has become a powerhouse in the video streaming market, having about twice as many subscribers as Comcast, and that means a lot of other companies want to get involved in the streaming business. One such company is Amazon, who has had their own video streaming service available for a couple of years through Amazon Prime. Yet in order to better compete head-to-head with Netflix, they’re introducing more options.
The subscriptions can now be purchased on a monthly basis for $8.99 per month. Unlike a full Amazon Prime membership, this will only give users access to Amazon’s streaming video collection and not free shipping. This price point seems to deliberately compete with Netflix’s new $9.99 per month increase starting next month.
If users want to get all the benefits of Amazon Prime per month, they can pay $10.99 per month. If you order a lot of things from Amazon, it may be a good idea to pay an extra two dollars each month. Of course, this new monthly subscription ends up costing more than just buying an annual subscription to Amazon Prime, which costs $99 and gives you all of the benefits. (For comparison, the video-only monthly subscription costs $108 per year and the Prime monthly subscription costs $132 per year.)
So these new plans are cheaper if you want to pay for only a few months, and it’s beneficial if you want to have the flexibility of monthly payments, although it can be more expensive if you think about staying with the service long-term. Amazon has worked with content creators to get a few exclusive shows such as Mozart in the Jungle, and they also have a small collection of other TV shows. It seems now like Amazon will be focusing more on this product in order to create something fully competitive with Netflix.
The one thing Amazon still needs to do is actually support Android TV. Netflix works great on TVs and makes it easy to keep watching. Amazon Instant Video requires a hacky solution to work on Android TV and so users can’t get the best experience. Without that great experience, they’ll go elsewhere for content.