Monday, September 26, 2011

Amazon Prime creeps up on Netflix: Signs deal with Fox, will soon have 11,000 titles for Prime Streaming

I think I’ve got that right.  Netflix is the streaming arm of Netflix/Qwikster isn’t it?   Who really knows these days?  It’ll probably change again before the week is out.   After Dish/Blockbuster blew a golden opportunity to take advantage of Netflix/Qwikster fail, Amazon once again shows they’ve taken direct aim at the old movie streaming  bulls eye on Reed Hastings back.

I don’t know if you buy from Amazon, but everybody in my households purchases quite a bit.  With the nearest decent shopping center being over 30 miles away, Amazon is cheaper, dependable, and immensely convenient.  And in the four years that I’ve been dealing with them I’ve never had a problem.  In all that time I’ve only had two, possibly three returns at the most and even doing that is relatively simple and painless, a lot more so than dragging your ass to the Wal-mart customer service center.

With Amazon Prime, you get guaranteed two day free shipping, and overnight at a much lower price than you would pay otherwise.  It’s really nice and in and of itself is worth the $79 dollars a year you pay just for the convenience if you buy a lot of items.  But now you get a pretty good extra with it.

That would be streaming movies that you can get in your home if you have an Amazon enabled device (we have three:  two blu rays and a Roku player).  Now I’ll be the first to admit that when the service first started, the pickings were slim.  But they have improved steadily and are now to the point where I think they can give Netflix a run for their money as they add more and more content, improve their user interface, and publicize their offerings beyond letting their current customers know.  And now they have signed a contract with Fox which gives them over 11,000 claimed titles.  (I always take these numbers with a grain of salt no matter who is doing the selling.)

Think about it.  Amazon charges $79 dollars a year for Amazon Prime.  That averages out to just $6.60 a month compared to the $7.99 that Netflix charges.  So you get free shipping and streaming movies for less then what you just pay for streaming from Netflix.  And if you shop directly from Amazon, you’ll find that their prices are extremely competitive with all major retailers.  If this sounds like a commercial, it’s not.  I’m just a satisfied customer.  A very satisfied customer.  And according to this blurb, you can get a thirty day free trial of Amazon Prime.

I’m to the point now that I’ll probably be dropping Netflix streaming in about a month.  There are only so many movies you can watch anyway, and you can always go back if you feel the need.  Although I’m not going to swear it’ll be the case for everybody, the Amazon streaming has always performed a lot better for me than Netflix, which often develops hiccups or has poor coding.  Granted, I’ve watched a lot more on Netflix but  we’ll see.

One of the other shows included is The Wonder Years.  Netflix promised The Wonder Years months ago but has yet to deliver.  This package from Fox is supposed to begin airing in October so we’ll see what happens by then.    Here’s the Amazon announcement. 

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