Amazon Prime Instant Video hits the UK
As of 26th February 2014, your Amazon Prime membership now includes instant access and streaming of thousands of hours of TV and Film content to a number of games consoles, tablet and personal computing devices as well as smartphones.
Does this confuse the Amazon Prime brand
If like me you signed up for Amazon Prime, the retailer’s paid-for service that gets you free delivery, then you’ll be able to watch Prime Instant Video’s 15,000 films and TV shows for free. Until your Prime needs renewing, anyway.
If you don’t have Prime and want to start watching, you’ll have to shell out £79 a year, (which includes membership to Prime). If you heeded the advice Amazon pushed your way in the run up to this launch, you’ll have gotten the new service for just £49. If you just want to stream, you can pay £5.99 a month.
The downside is that from today, Amazon Prime will now cost £79 a year, even if you don’t want to use Amazon Prime Instant Video apparently.
What happened to Love Film?
If you, like several of my friends, have long subscribed to Love Film and love looking forward to the new films dropping on your doormat, I found this interesting article by TrustedReviews: How Amazon Prime Instant UK Affects Lovefilm and Amazon Prime Users.
Do I still need Netflix then?
It’s clear that Amazon has long wanted to beat Netflix to the number 1 spot. However, it seems both offer distinct advantages.
According to this really great article on TechRadar, Netflix is particularly good for US TV programmes, although HBO titles such as Six Feet Under and The Sopranos are absent, and it has a useful kids mode that gives the kids Spongebob Squarepants instead of Walter White. Stand-up comedy is well represented too.
If you’re looking for Breaking Bad on LoveFilm you’ll need to be a DVD or Blu-Ray subscriber, but LoveFilm redeems itself with a pretty good collection of BBC programmes, especially children’s programmes, and a great selection of cartoons.
Where does this leave iTunes?
With the massive proliferation of iPad and iPhone devices in recent years, is it any wonder Apple’s iTunes store has benefited hugely from the increasing consumption of content on the go – I don’t think so, and that’s before you consider the Apple TV dinky little box that sits under the TV. of course, there’s tons of content available through iTunes so perhaps this is as much about Amazon taking on Apple and not just Netflix.
New competition for Apple’s iOS devices
I reckon pairing a Kindle Fire HD tablet with an Amazon Prime subscription may well prove to be a compelling new force in on demand viewing in the home, if not on the move. As more and more devices end up in the hands of individual members of your household, it stands to reason that we’ll see more and more content consumed on demand, rather than in a linear fashion (i.e. when aired on TV). Perhaps with the release of this new(ish) service, Amazon isn’t merely trying to beat Netflix over the head, but Apple too. Does this represent a real threat to Apple and it’s iPads from Amazon and its Kindles. Discuss.
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