Amazon is after Netflix this morning with the announcement of a standalone Amazon Prime Video subscription. If you don’t already count the UPS driver as a part of your family – don’t judge – you can snap up Amazon’s video streaming service for $8.99 per month.
For people that shy away from commitment, the monthly charge is month-to-month with no contracts. Don’t like it? Cancel it and apologize to Netflix for your indiscretions.
The standalone subscription is for Amazon Prime Video only. You’re not getting standard Amazon Prime through the program. No free shipping, ridiculously cheap overnight shipping or the music library. If you want that as a monthly fee, Amazon offers a $10.99 per month tier.
Three dollars extra for everything? Pay the $99 yearly fee. Save money and abuse the system like I do. It’s absurd how much the UPS truck shows up at my house.
What’s Amazon doing?
With the growing catalog of shows like Transparent, the new Top Gear and Mozart in the Jungle, Amazon wants the comparison to Netflix. It needs the comparison. Even for actual Prime members.
The move to push out a vertical as a standalone subscription serves as both a way to capture non-Prime members and to remind current Prime members you can do more on Amazon besides button-mashing the Dash buttons.
Its content catalog is only growing. Woody Allen’s next film is setting up residence there. If you’re a Woody Allen fan, that’s awesome. If not? Well, you can watch every season of FX’s Justified. Trust me; it’s worth the binge.
Amazon also gets to compete directly as an alternative to Netflix ($9.99), Hulu ($7.99), HBO Now ($14.99) and all the other streaming services. And the splash page immediately pushes customers towards the annual Prime subscription service.
One worry is what does this mean for Amazon Prime? Will Amazon completely strip out the Prime Video as a separate service? Or, are we staring at another price increase in the near-term?
For shareholders, the answer is two subscriptions to grab more cash from consumers. It would still be a deal for people that order every random item from Amazon (me). From an optics standpoint? It’d piss the consumer off. The path of least resistance would be to keep the tiers and slowly increase the price of all three.