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Watch Out Netflix, Amazon Streaming Video to Prime Users

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the optimus-would-be-proud dept.

Entertainment 218

ageoffri writes "Amazon has announced that they will include streaming with a subscription to Amazon Prime. The free 2 day shipping on a huge selection of products either sold directly by Amazon or fulfilled by Amazon is already worth the Prime cost. Now add in streaming that works out to just under $7/month and it gets better. Sure the selection isn't that great yet but this has the ability to really change the streaming market!"

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We're Amazon! (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284978)

We're Amazon and we want to be everything to everybody!

Re:We're Amazon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285210)

If they can do it well and do it cheap, then I'm all for it.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285392)

So far they have done it right. DRM mp3s, fast and cheap books and a decent selection of 3rd parties selling on their site to cater for more rare searches.

My only complaint would be the Kindle. Technically it's perfect but I wish they'd treat books like MP3s and give us DRM free PDFs like O'Reilly.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285592)

PDFs? you can look at a PDF on the kindle but the text is not reflowable so it looks really small and is hard to read.

Re:We're Amazon! (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285946)

My only complaint would be the Kindle. Technically it's perfect but I wish they'd treat books like MP3s and give us DRM free PDFs like O'Reilly.

PDF is good for retaining formatting, but often at the expense of semantic information - the end result is that while you can be fairly sure that your text will end up 1.7 cm from the edge of the page, the software (text to speech, or reflowing for a different font size, for example) might have trouble distinguishing paragraph order in a multi-column layout. For novels and the like, where it's just text, ePub is unquestionably far superior; for textbooks and other instances where formatting matters more you can make an argument either way.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285510)

If they can do it well and do it cheap, then I'm all for it.

Jeff Bezos was on the Charlie Rose Show (a PBS news/interview program) a year or two ago and mentioned that a large portion of Amazon's sales are from footware. The follow up to his own comment was "Who knew 5 years ago we were going to be selling shoes?"

So, yeah, if they can do videos along with everything else, good for them.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285452)

I'd laugh, but Amazon is actually pretty good at being everything to everybody.

Re:We're Amazon! (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285748)

I wish they would get the Prime 2-day shipping back in order. I used that service a *lot* until last October they switched to Ensenda as the carrier in my area. Suddenly the few 2-day Prime packages that got delivered at all were coming in 1-2 weeks. The story is the same with the other obscure carriers A1, On-Trac, Lasership, etc. After a while I gave up and canceled my Prime membership. Why pay extra for 2-day shipping that comes in 1 to 2 weeks or not at all?

Amazon needs to restore their Prime shipping program to a usable level of service before they start with unrelated freebies like streaming video.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285916)

They always use UPS for my packages. But it seems like every single CD I order arrives with a cracked case. I think it's because they ship them in padded envelopes. They used to use boxes. They do tend to arrive in 2 days or less though. And I see the streaming video actually works. I was watching Les Miserables.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286004)

What was their response on that one? I'm guessing they'd pin the blame (rightly) on the carrier, but from a customer satisfaction point of view it obviously matters that you get your package on time, not whose fault it is if you don't. Some services (Ryanair immediately spring to mind) can survive a reputation for being crap because they're really, really cheap; although that might be applicable to Amazon in general (but probably not, all things considered), it's certainly not applicable to a 'premium' service like Prime - quality (or, in this case, speed) is what you're paying for, so I imagine they'd actually be reasonably concerned if the service is leaving a bad impression.

Re:We're Amazon! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286082)

"What was their response on that one?"

Amazon had a canned response for when a package was overdue a few days: "We are sorry to hear about your shipping problems, please wait 1 week and contact us again if the package has not arrived." One week later: "We are sorry to hear about your shipping problems, we can [send a replacement *or* the item is no longer in stock so we will refund it]. After this repeated over weeks and multiple packages, I decided it was not worth the hassle and canceled my Prime membership. Looking at the Amazon shipper forums, it appears little to no progress has been made since then. Fortunately there are alternative online retailers like Newegg that take shipping seriously.

Sorry students... (2)

domulys (1431537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284982)

... this doesn't apply to your free Prime membership.

Sorry students, Family Members *AND* "Amazon Moms" (4, Informative)

evw (172810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285322)

Nor to anyone who currently get free Amazon shipping via a family member who is a member of Amazon Prime. The free video only applies to the single Amazon Prime member account:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200572880 [amazon.com]

"Prime instant videos require an Amazon Prime membership and are not included with the free shipping benefits provided by Amazon Mom, Amazon Student, or if you are a guest of an Amazon Prime member. To watch Prime instant videos, sign up for a $79 Amazon Prime membership at http://www.amazon.com/primevideos [amazon.com] . If you are a member of Amazon Mom and sign up for a $79 Amazon Prime membership, you will lose any additional months of Amazon Prime shipping benefits you may have earned."

Amazon video on demand:
http://www.amazon.com/Video-On-Demand/b/ref=&node=16261631 [amazon.com]

Subset of "Prime Eligible" movies that Amazon will stream free to Prime members today (2153 results):
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=s9_al_bw_srch?rh=n%3A16261631%2Cp_85%3A1&page=1&rw_html_to_wsrp=1&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1G4XGFTBQHGKXW5S6ZP3&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1288998822&pf_rd_i=16261631 [amazon.com]

Re:Sorry students, Family Members *AND* "Amazon Mo (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286062)

Well that's pointless. I'm not going to spend an extra $80 for these streaming features when I already have free 2-day shipping as a "guest" prime account on another prime account. It would've been cool to check out but just a quick overview shows that they're not really titles I'd pay to watch. Amazon fail.

Re:Sorry students... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285410)

Seems fair to me since each view probably costs them more than just bandwidth and they probably have to give up something to the content providers and the content providers may have even specified that free prime accounts can't have it.

very objective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35284986)

very objective

Not Free For Long (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35284992)

As soon as they start to get a library like Netflix has, they'll have to start charging. Which will cost more than the 79 a year it does now (including prime). It will probably end up costing 79 for prime, plus 3-7 dollars a month when the library is up. Making it anywhere from 110$ for a year (reasonable, competes with netflix if you use amazon a lot) to 149$ a year (only reasonable if you already have prime and ship tons of things, and don't want to watch any DVD's that aren't streaming, as the cost of renting one DVD from Amazon would be the cost of renting 10-12 a month from netflix).

Re:Not Free For Long (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286078)

If it goes that way I'd imagine they'd offer separate packages - if it were, say, $70/year for streaming video, $79/year for free shipping, or $120/year for both they'd probably do well. As it stands, making it a 'fringe benefit' increases its perceived value and prevents them from being in direct competition with Netflix, so it's a decent way for them to polish up the product and expand the selection a bit - customers see it as a nice added extra on a separate service, not a poor imitation of the market leader.

"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284996)

So it's basically Netflix, with the exact same shortcomings of Netflix. I'd gladly pay at least twice what Netflix currently charges for streaming if I could get their entire collection that way. Unfortunately, the content providers haven't yet pulled their heads out of their asses and figured out that digital distribution is the future, so we're still stuck waiting for DVDs in the mail for most reasonably modern and/or highly rated content.

As digital distribution becomes more ubiquitous, more and more people will turn to piracy unless the content providers start allowing more of their stuff to be streamed legally. Hopefully they'll figure that out instead of fighting streaming every step of the way.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285058)

Exact same, ha. Of the 460 SciFi TV seasons they have available only 60 are available through prime right now and most of those (42) are from the BBC. Big content really is shooting itself in the foot. As you point out if I want to watch a current tv series it's MUCH easier to go grab it off TPB or some other download site than it is for me to watch it electronically.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285312)

...except BBC shows represent the most expensive ones out there.

Most American shows are dirt cheap by comparison.

After a couple of Classic Dr Who serials, the Prime pays for itself.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285268)

Agreed. This is one of the biggest frustrations with the Netflix/Amazon Prime streaming. But as a silver lining, I have found a ton of really good older or obscure indie stuff that I never would have encountered any other way.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285382)

I appreciate the convenience of streaming too, but I think we still need physical media rental. It's important for consumers' rights in general, and especially in lieu of no net neutrality laws in place, and the bandwidth caps and throttling that ISPs are pushing back with.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285484)

Psst! Your ignorance is showing! It's not necessarily the content providers who need their heads pulled out of their asses. I have a movie that was distributed by Sony but they do not own the streaming rights. So Netflix can't stream it. But there's no way that I, as an individual, can get the rights to Netflix. They only accept things like that through distributors (as far as I've been able to tell). I _WANT_ to license it to them for streaming but I can't.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285536)

Have you called them?

I would also suggest contacting HULU they seem to be making lots of deals with Web and indie film makers. I watch that stuff on hulu so they get some money.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285620)

for me it is a free add on to a service I already pay for.

Prime is a great deal for a lot of people because of the cheap shipping, now that I can get free movies, it is even better.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (2)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285764)

I'd gladly pay at least twice what Netflix currently charges for streaming if I could get their entire collection that way.

Given that my current cable bill is over $50, I'd pay well over twice Netflix's regular rates if I could get their full catalog completely ad free and on demand. And I'd tell the cable company to keep their overpriced ad-supported content.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285874)

Sure you might be glad to pay $16/mo, but something tells me Netflix will charge at least $30/mo for full access streaming.

Re:"Sure, the selection isn't great yet..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35286080)

Why should the content provider get to choose what formats the work is available in? Copyright was never intended to allow this. Back when it was invented, there was only the one publishing format - a book.

works in linux (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285008)

Not only works in Linux, but it works *well* in Linux.

Netflix can eat it.

Re:works in linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285162)

Yes! I have both Netflix and Prime, and it has been a continuing source of irritation that I couldn't take advantage of the Netflix streaming. Amazon moves to the head of the pack yet again.

Re:works in linux (4, Informative)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285276)

I was pleasantly surprised it works on my Linux laptop ^_^

Let's kindle a little controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285438)

Will they this a "delete stream from end-user brain" capability?

Re:works in linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285612)

Really? Cool.. I'm going to get a subscription to Amazon Prime *because* it works on Linux.

Re:works in linux (2)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285646)

Use chrome with an nvidia 9000 series or better card and you get some nice vdpau exceleration as well.

Re:works in linux (1)

MMInterface (1039102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285736)

That's great that it works well on Linux, but it seems like a trade-off. I prefer watching Netflix on Xbox. Also, I have never been a fan navigating through Amazon's clusterfuck of content. For example, I prefer Kindle apps for ebooks, but I dread going to their site to purchase ebooks. They have a habit of cramming too much content on a page and trying to tie in every section of their business that they possibly can: something I don't have to deal with when I order dvds or update my Netflix que. I think the real bonus here is if it does well, Netflix might provide even better services to compete. I welcome the competition, but I think the service has even more flaws than Netflix.

Re:works in linux (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285814)

How do you get Netflix on an Xbox?

Re:works in linux (1)

Rudolf (43885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285858)

How do you get Netflix on an Xbox?
Sign up for the XBOX Live "Gold" membership, and NetFlix is one of the "Video Marketplace" entries.

 

Why Amazon Prime? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285010)

Why bundle this with Amazon Prime? Why not just make it a separate subscription service? It feels like the equivalent of bundling a haircut with a tech support service subscription for a Linux distro.

Re:Why Amazon Prime? (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285070)

Why bundle this with Amazon Prime? Why not just make it a separate subscription service? It feels like the equivalent of bundling a haircut with a tech support service subscription for a Linux distro.

While the library is small they give it away. Once they get a respectable library of titles they'll have a bunch of people who are using it to start charging while they claim "We never said it would be free for ever. You can't complain about something you were getting for free." Base on the amount of users they'll be able to measure what their monthly fee will be (the more popular it is the more they'll charge - up to the amount Nerflix charges - with a discount to Prime users).

Re:Why Amazon Prime? (1)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285362)

Amazon is going to have a problem on their hands if they stop offering this service to Prime customers a few months from now. I can't believe that Amazon would entice people with a service, have them fork over cash, then say, "we have altered the deal..." Yet it appears that's exactly what Amazon is considering. I just read the Prime Terms and Conditions [amazon.com] , which include this gem, "We may remove access to Prime instant videos as a Prime benefit at any time." Somehow, this little tidbit didn't make it to the letter from Bezos on the Amazon home page. The letter mentions how this service is a reason to sign up for Prime.

If I were a class action lawyer, I'd start working on the paperwork for the lawsuit now, so that it will be ready if/when Amazon decides to pull the plug. I'd sign up for a Prime Membership so that I could be the lead plaintiff in the suit instead of wasting time trying to find somebody else.

Re:Why Amazon Prime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285086)

broader appeal maybe?

Re:Why Amazon Prime? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285088)

Wait, I can get haircuts with my Linux distro? Which one?

heh heh..

I think it's a reasonable bundling, even if slightly weird as you say. I had no intention of getting Amazon Prime after the free month I used for some late Christmas gifts.. But even as a longtime netflix user (mostly DVDs, though I've been using streaming a bit), I could see using this along with netflix and lowering cable usage.

Their streaming catalog isn't a proper subset of Netflix's. In my brief skim, they had the recent Ken Burns "Tenth Inning" follow on to "Baseball" and some old Doctor Who that Netflix had "only" on DVD. (I say "only" because I often prefer DVDs, especially if they contain any extras... but even just for things like documentaries, I like the DVD so I can turn on subtitles and play them on my DVD player that can play faster than realtime.)

Re:Why Amazon Prime? (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285280)

Why bundle this with Amazon Prime? Why not just make it a separate subscription service?

To leverage their monopoly in online book sales and delivery into the video streaming market. If they

No PS3 support :( (1)

CrackerJackz (152930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285020)

Without PS3 or AppleTV support I doubt I'll be making much use of this service (speaking as both an existing Prime member and a Netflix member)

Re:No PS3 support :( (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285140)

Without PS3 or AppleTV support I doubt I'll be making much use of this service (speaking as both an existing Prime member and a Netflix member)

Amazon does offer streaming to us Tivo owners. However, since I'm already a Netflix member, I can't see myself taking advantage of this given the relative size of their library to Netflix's. Ten bucks a month for Netflix versus seven for Amazon isn't a big enough differentiator for me--since I tend to select the free shipping option anyway, and therefore don't really care about getting my Amazon purchases in two days versus a week.

Re:No PS3 support :( (-1, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285182)

You can't install flash on an AppleTV?

Wow, that's pretty fucking sad and is why I have a real computer hooked to my tv. Also means I do not have to pay for hulu plus.

Re:No PS3 support :( (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285370)

I paid $95 for my AppleTV and it just works. I am not sad.

Re:No PS3 support :( (1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285372)

What an odd definition of just works, seems like you mean just works if they decide to support it.

Re:No PS3 support :( (3, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285878)

I think he means "It just works ... just barely".

Re:No PS3 support :( (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285274)

The PS3 has a flash player, when I get home I will see if it can stream these.

Works in the UK Just fine... (2)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285034)

I've a US Amazon.com Prime account. (currently a free trial!)

Just finished watching the "Millennium trilogy" (Girl with..) series of movies
Now starting on Farscape Series...

Think I'd pay the fee for unlimited streaming (Works out at just over £4 a month...) ^_^

Re:Works in the UK Just fine... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285154)

>>>"Millennium trilogy" (Girl with..) series of movies

The what?
Never heard of that.

Re:Works in the UK Just fine... (2)

Mojofreem (556489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285308)

Based on the books by Steig Larsen (http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Dragon-Tattoo-Millennium-Trilogy/dp/0307473473/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1298415990&sr=8-4/ [amazon.com] ).

  • Girl with the Dragon Tatoo
  • The girl who played with fire
  • The girl who kicked the hornets nest

It's actually a rather good set of movies (haven't finished the third one yet), though it does have some disturbing content. It's in Swedish, with English subtitles. All three are currently available on Netflix streaming.

I heard that they're planning an Americanized Hollywood adaptation. I can only expect it to end up as awful and vile as "Point of No Return" was compared to "La Femme Nikita".

Re:Works in the UK Just fine... (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285332)

Amazon have all 3 in either subtitled or dubbed versions ^_^

Re:Works in the UK Just fine... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285624)

I heard that they're planning an Americanized Hollywood adaptation. I can only expect it to end up as awful and vile as "Point of No Return" was compared to "La Femme Nikita".

Perhaps a bad assumption, considering who's making it - David Fincher (Social Network, Fight Club, Se73n, etc.), and who's in it: Daniel Craig, Robin Wright, Stellan Skaarsgard, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic, Julian Sands. I wish he'd gone with Ellen Page for Lisbeth, but you can't have everything.

It looks like he's intending to do a more faithful version of the book, rather than just doing a remake of the movies.

Re:Works in the UK Just fine... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285238)

Never mind. Found it (below). Hard to believe that actress is in her 30s! So is the BBC Office better than the NBC Office???

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

I'm happy. (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285056)

Not sure why others are not? I have hulu.com and syfy.com to watch my favorite shows, but never had a good source for cheap movies - except bittorrent.

Now I can rent them for $7 a month PLUS get free shipping/priority shipping on all my books and games. Good deal. Makes me wonder how amazon can afford it?

Re:I'm happy. (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285406)

Makes me wonder how amazon can afford it?

I am pretty sure it goes something like this : we are the largest dvd seller, do us a price or we will jack the price of your product

Re:I'm happy. (1)

bsane (148894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285912)

As a recent Prime customer I can tell you it goes like this:

I need to buy X. Usual brick and mortar vs online argument, except now I don't have to pay for fast shipping. Even paying 3.99 for overnight shipping you end up way ahead. In about a month I've switched to buying anything of consequence from amazon instead of from a store. I even bought computer equipment from amazon instead of from newegg for similar reasons. Basically my amazon spending increased 10x. Presumably they're not losing money by eating the shipping, so its a win for both of us.

Not on Tivo yet (1)

adenied (120700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285106)

It's not available on the Tivo yet, so for right now Netflix trumps it. Also the lack of DVDs being sent to me until all this crap about digital rights get figured out. Though the price is right for me, and I've already got Prime, so I can't complain too much. Hopefully this is just a taste of things to come.

Limited market (2)

PARENA (413947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285150)

but this has the ability to really change the streaming market!

...in the USA (and perhaps Canada?) There still isn't anything close to Netflix or this new Amazon service in Europe. Or at least not that I know of. There wasn't anything like it in Holland a few years back and there isn't now over here in Finland. :/

Re:Limited market (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285218)

I hear tell of some torrent of bits that can be used over the series of tubes we call the internet when content creators fuck up like that.

Re:Limited market (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285712)

I hear tell of some torrent of bits that can be used over the series of tubes we call the internet when content creators fuck up like that.

Perhaps, but that isn't "streaming" since you don't normally(?) get to see it until you have the lot.

Re:Limited market (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285360)

it IS gonna change the Streaming market internationally!

Since it does not check to see what country you are in when viewing the content, Just that you have a US Amazon account...

You'll find more people like me (in the UK) signing up for the US service to get good/cheap streaming movies!!

Re:Limited market (1)

PARENA (413947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285428)

You sure about that? I'm trying a preview and it says:

"We have detected that you are not located within the US. Due to licensing restrictions Amazon Instant Video customers must be located in the United States when viewing videos online. (What’s This?)"

So, not sure how that works in the UK then, but it won't over here. :/

Re:Limited market (2)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285542)

opps! i forgot i had the "Modify Headers" plugin on firefox turned on... (with a US IP address)
That seems to keep the site happy ^_^

Re:Limited market (2)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285450)

Amazon recently bought Lovefilm, the UK's equivalent of Netflix, and they have (very limited) streaming. With a bit of luck amazon.co.uk at least will introduce it.

Works on Linux! (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285164)

As a prime member this is great news. If they expand the available titles I plan on canceling netflix. I will make sure I tell them too. I also just streamed a show on my android phone.

PRIORITIES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285174)

Get some PRIORITIES, man...

Probably thousands of people and dying in Libya, and you post crap about Amazon Streaming Video... some of it weeks old?

Put the CRACK down!

Re:PRIORITIES (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285734)

Why are you even on Slashdot, then? Where are YOUR priorities?

Compared to Netflix? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285208)

I've checked Amazon for a few of the TV shows I'd like to get streamed on Netflix and Amazon doesn't have them for streaming either -- is there any reason to believe that Amazon will have a better streaming selection?

Re:Compared to Netflix? (2)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285496)

Probably not, since they're at the whims of the content providers. Given that exclusivity == $$$, even when the content is shite, don't expect the current situation to improve any time soon. Same situation as music. If an artist, label, or studip doesn't want digital downloads, checking different endpoint providers won't change the selection.

Prime users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285246)

OK so where do I go on Amazon to find out my account number? I can quickly tell that my slashdot UID isn't prime, its divisible by 13...

Netflix and Android (1)

Trubacca (941152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285262)

I couldn't say whether or not Amazon will be able to crack the DRM obstacle that is holding up Netflix on Android, but I CAN say that the first company that manages to stream movies to my phone will win my subscription dollars. I have a feeling that many Android users feel the same way, and considering we are the largest smart-phone market segment I am surprised we are not served already!

Re:Netflix and Android (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285310)

It already works on android. Amazon streaming uses flash. I just streamed some top gear on my Droid(overclocked, only to 800mhz). There was a little bit of stuttering but it was watchable. Go try it!

I will also probably test it at 1.2Ghz to see if that gets rid of stuttering.

Re:Netflix and Android (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285578)

I tried it on my @xoom. #fail. Then I tried it on my @droid2. 20 minutes later, my previously full battery was completely drained.

#flashkilledmybattery

Re:Netflix and Android (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285604)

I watched for 5-10 minutes, battery still at 90%.

Content is the most important piece (2)

ExileOnHoth (53325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285320)

"Sure the selection isn't that great yet but this has the ability to really change the streaming market"

Really? That sentence right there sums up why engineering types consistently fail to take on the big players in this market.

I think you have it backwards: the "selection" is EVERYTHING. Until a company shows it can make the kind of content deals Apple can with the big content creators, it will fail to gain market share.

The content is critical.

Re:Content is the most important piece (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285340)

Apple still does not have subscription based streaming, so what are you talking about?
$0.99 is fine if I want to own it, but to stream a tv show should be subscription or maybe $0.25 per episode.

Re:Content is the most important piece (1)

ExileOnHoth (53325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285576)

I'm talking about paid digital video as a whole, not just "subscriptions" which would be an arbitrary line to draw.

The point I'm making is these kinds of services only succeed in the marketplace when they have content deals in place with the big content providers. The story says: "this has the ability to really change the streaming market" -- I would argue that the market will go wherever the content deals are.

Amazon knows this. I bet Amazon CAN put some big content deals in place. When that happens, THEN we can talk about them changing the market.

Competes more directly with iTMS (2)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285346)

It appears that Amazon has a collection of movies/tv shows that are free to stream, and a much larger collection that you must pay $3 to rent or $10 to buy (much like iTMS).

The selection for free instant play seems rather small. In all honesty, this seems to be more a competitor for iTMS than Netflix. I don't pay anything extra to get dvds or stream from Netflix.

Paid prime members only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285350)

I just tried it, and it only works if you're a paying prime member. Those of us who have a free prime account (student membership or otherwise) can't join in unless we pay the full $79 a year.

Amazon prepares for war (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285374)

They just need to get an Android tablet out. Amazon is preparing an own App Store for Android, now they offer streaming... They're selling music anyway. The users are there, too. Amazon is in a perfect position to go into the mobile content/apps market and then it can deliver real goods, too. Actually both Google and Apple are *not* in a better position.

I wonder... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285420)

Many have commented how similar it is to Netflix selection. Did amazon happen to negotiate some deal or is amazon including some sort of rebranding agreement as a subset of their selection?

I was thinking since Netflix uses Amazon as a hosting provider if some sort of agreement was struck..

The Amazon Prime myth (3, Informative)

dbc (135354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285424)

Amazon's distribution center in Reno can hit 90% of the population of Northern California overnight with *regular* UPS shipping. If you order for regular 5-7 day delivery, they pick, pack and label your parcel, and then let it age on a warehouse shelf for a few days. If you pay for overnight or Prime, they don't age it. Amazon Prime is a racket, a profit center, not free shipping.

Re:The Amazon Prime myth (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285468)

So what you are saying is they are willing to ship it to you faster if you pay more?
Which is exactly what they say.

Note that it is UPS that normally "ages" these packages. You can tell by checking its tracking information and seeing that UPS holds the package in one place for days.

Re:The Amazon Prime myth (1)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285566)

That can't be right. When I lived in Reno, I would always order using the 5-7 day delivery and the only time it didn't arrive overnight was when the order was shipped from a different warehouse.

Re:The Amazon Prime myth (4, Informative)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285794)

Amazon's distribution center in Reno can hit 90% of the population of Northern California overnight with *regular* UPS shipping. If you order for regular 5-7 day delivery, they pick, pack and label your parcel, and then let it age on a warehouse shelf for a few days. If you pay for overnight or Prime, they don't age it. Amazon Prime is a racket, a profit center, not free shipping.

It's not like there is a continuous flow of infinite-capacity trucks rolling by the warehouse 24/7. Both Amazon and the shipping company have to maximize shipment density and at the same time minimize delivery time. One way to do this is to create artificial segments of shipping via pricing. The customers who pay less get a less certain delivery window. The customers who pay more get priority on that night's truck (or however they work it). It's not like the trucks drive faster if you pay more. You are paying more for priority in the logistics chain, which is well worth it for some people.

Re:The Amazon Prime myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285796)

So amazon spends an exhorbitant amount of money on extra warehouse space so that they can play games with shipping your package in the hope you'll sign up for expedited service?

I doubt it.

Downside to Prime (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285426)

There are a couple of non-obvious downsides to paying for Amazon Prime.

The first is that it can be a false economy - the expedited shipping is not free, you pay for it up front a year at a time. But since the extra cost is not accounted for in the price of each transaction it makes it harder to comparison shop - it becomes mentally easier to pay a higher price for an item at Amazon rather than purchase it elsewhere because the "total cost" appears to be lower.

The second downside is more insidious - since you've paid up front, Amazon can hold your money hostage. I saw one case a few years ago where Amazon had a dispute with a bunch of fatwallet types - Amazon shipped out 20-30 different products to a couple of hundred customers at a very low price and then changed their mind about the price after the orders were delivered. They told the buyers that they could either return the products for a refund or pay the difference in a second charge to their credit cards. Amazon even went so far as to process those second charges without getting permission.

The people who disputed the charge with their credit cards got the charges cancelled as they were never authorised in the first place. BUT Amazon then "froze" their accounts on their website. The people who had paid for Prime were SOL - sure they had the privilege of expedited shipping on any order for another ~10 months, they just couldn't place any orders. As far as I know, none of those people ever saw a penny of that Prime fee refunded.

While I wasn't financially affected by the incident, seeing how Amazon handled it, I was convinced to never pay Amazon for their Prime service. It isn't a stretch to see Amazon pulling the same stunt with the video streaming - you can stream any video you pay for, but they won't actually let you pay for anything.

FWIW, it also made me think twice about "deals" at Amazon - if they won't stand behind their own system's pricing info, how am I supposed to tell the difference between a promotional discount and a computer error?

Re:Downside to Prime (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285516)

You do pay for the shipping up front, but you are paying for 2 day shipping. Tjhat is normally more expensive so you need to compare to that. I paid $3 more for a monitor because I have amazon prime. For me the $3 and the $1 portion of amazon prime (I make at least 80 orders a year, office mates share my prime and pay me for it) was worth it and cheaper than the $7 three day shipping at the other vendor.

Re:Downside to Prime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285642)

I've paid for Amazon Prime and I've gotten it for free. Even paying for it, it has been worth every penny. Amazon went from 2-3 orders a year from me to probably closer to 80. At the latter number, I've paid about $1 per order for 2nd day shipping. And that's on anything; I've taken advantage of Prime on shipping a single Bic pen (which I'd never order by itself except with free shipping) and also on large applicances (which normally cost an arm and a leg to ship.)

It's a great business model for them. They're usually price-competitive anyway, and the fast free shipping _always_ makes me check them first.

Re:Downside to Prime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285972)

I've seen these complaints before, and as infrequent as they are, they still bother me.

If you have to work multiple angles to get a deal on fatwallet and such, you're probably gaming a system.

If the deal is "too good to be true", you're probably gaming a system.

This goes with the territory on those 'thrifty' sites. I know, I use them, and you can always tell when something is an error or shady dealing on the buyers end. For all the complaining we do about big evil companies, it's also true that some small segment of consumers will always try to worm, cheat and game businesses right back.

Sometimes that bites us on the ass, sometimes we get away with it, but I don't fault Amazon for refusing to honor an exploited glitch or scam someone worked out... regardless of whether a few people think it should be honored.

Neutrality? (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285632)

I'm so glad we can look to Slashdot for fair, unbiased summaries of news events. And failing that, we can look forward to things like this.

Never Forget (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285888)

This is the same Amazon that caved to big brother. Why do business with them?

No Linux, No Go (1)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285976)

But Netflix works on my PS3 and Wii. Last I checked, I'd need a Windows PC to use Amazon streaming, and I don't need that kind of torture to watch Baby Mama.

Re:No Linux, No Go (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286066)

But Netflix works on my PS3 and Wii. Last I checked, I'd need a Windows PC to use Amazon streaming, and I don't need that kind of torture to watch Baby Mama.

But... but... but we're supposed to feel sorry for the people who intentionally decided to use a niche OS when they can't use a popular service that's easily accessible a number of other ways.

Competition: (1)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286048)

I paid $25 annually for Barnes & Noble's "Reader's Advantage" card, which provides free shipping PLUS a discount 10%. That alone has added up to like four Doctor Who DVDs :-)

It's got tons of MST3K (1)

Stonesand (922187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286096)

Tons of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes are available! I know what I'm watching tonight!
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