Amazon to Launch Netflix-Like Streaming Service, Free for Prime Members?

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AmazonOne of Engadget's readers says he's seeing an unlimited video streaming section to complement the current Amazon VOD options. "According to our tipster, the option has disappeared from his page as well," updated Engadget in the article. Currently, this idea is sustained by one screenshot, and there's no other report out there that hints to such a course.

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Amazon appears to be readying a service that would make 5,000 movies and TV shows available to watch instantly ,at no extra cost, to members of the online retailer's $79-per-year Prime free-shipping membership program.

At this time, Amazon offers a selection of more than 75,000 movie and TV show rentals or purchases through PCs, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Connected TV devices, including those from TiVo, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Vizio and Roku. The instant-streaming service from Amazon would add to the growing amount of premium video content available online under a subscription plan.

PCMag explains the relation to Netflix and how the two are compared:

The sound you likely hear right now is the sound of Netflix crying from its headquarters in Los Gatos, California, as the most inexpensive Netflix streaming plan costs one $96 per year at minimum. Netflix, however, does get the last laugh in the device diversity department, as its service allows one to stream entertainment to more systems than just one's PC. So does Amazon's, but there's no indication that Amazon would be bundle its unlimited streaming service to a larger variety of devices like, say, an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console, or the wide variety of set-top players currently supporting Netflix exclusively (including the Apple TV).

Netflix, as well, carries the lion's share of available titles to stream: 28,000 in all, versus the alleged 5,000 coming to Amazon's "free" service.

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