Another serious competitor has emerged in the video streaming arena, but it’s not exactly a new one. Amazon has split off its Prime Video service into a standalone offering, which should have Netflix shaking in its boots.
Before today, the only way to get Amazon Prime Video was through a $99 per year subscription that bundled the media content with two-day shipping and other perks. Now, as Netflix raises its prices, Amazon Prime Video is available by itself for just $8.99 per month, a dollar cheaper than the competitor’s most popular offering.
Amazon and Netflix both have similar collections of content, although each has its own exclusive movies and series. A key differentiator, though, is something that Netflix has and Amazon still lacks: an Apple TV app. It’s been rumored for months that an Amazon app for the fourth-generation set-top box was forthcoming, but so far nothing’s been released. Netflix, of course, not only has an app on the Apple TV, but also has support for universal search and Siri.
Amazon is definitely missing out on some market share with its absence from the set-top box.
Still, for those who don’t care about the Apple TV integration, the new Amazon Prime Video standalone offering could be an attractive deal. Viewers can opt-in to just that monthly service, rather than having to take the whole Amazon Prime package. This is great for folks who want the movies and television content, but don’t need the two-day shipping or other perks of full Prime membership.
I’m still holding out hope that Amazon will release a Prime Video app for the Apple TV, but the prospects of that seem unlikely with every passing month. While other cord-cutting services like Netflix, Starz, Showtime, and HBO Now offer the ability to easily stream content on the Apple TV, Amazon is definitely missing out on some market share with its absence from the set-top box.