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Is Amazon gearing up to unveil an unlimited streaming service to compete with Netflix?

02.01.2011

While it's easy to develop brand loyalty to a company, especially when they provide a great service, competition in the market place is and will always be that great necessity to help promote better products, better services, and even innovation for us, the end consumer. Enter Netflix, a company that's practically single-handedly changing the face of home video consumption with their Watch Instantly service. And while Netflix Instant is tremendous and only continues to get better, they've largely gone unchallenged in the streaming digital content department. Online megastore Amazon.com's gotten into a similar game with their Video On Demand service, but with that you're making single purchases or rentals rather than getting unlimited streams for a fixed rate. And though rumors of Amazon adding a Netflix-like service have been swirling for some time, might that change now really be happening soon?

While in the Video On Demand section of Amazon's site, a reader over at Engadget noticed that their "Prime" subscription (an optional service that grants shipping benefits for purchased products) was suddenly giving them access to "unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost." (See above image, courtesy of Engadget.) The notice has since been taken down, though Engadget notes that several domain names related to instant video streaming have recently been purchased by the Amazon-owned DPReview.

An Amazon Prime subscription will run you $79 for a year (versus Netflix's Watch Instantly which comes out to $95.88). Resolution, however, is limited to 480p (something that I bet would change rather quickly in order to remain competitive). Still, this seems like it could be Netflix's first real viable competition (sorry, Hulu Plus). And though Netflix is my baby and I love her, I'm not about to turn away a catfight over who can give me better dome.
Extra Tidbit: How many of you guys use Netflix's Watch Instantly or any other paid video streaming service?
Source: Engadget

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