Yes, I Would Like Free Streaming Video with My Amazon Prime!

| February 22, 2011 | 7 Replies

One of the best deals on the web just got one heck of a lot better today.

Amazon has just turned on its Prime Instant Video service, letting paid Prime subscribers (sorry, students) in the US (sorry, foreigners) stream any of 5,000 movies and TV shows directly to their machines free of charge — well, free beyond the $79 Primers already pay. Jeff Bezos has confirmed that there will be no extra charge going forward for this service and that Prime itself will not be getting more expensive to pay for all these bits and bytes. Right now the selection is limited, particularly if you already have a Netflix subscription, but we just had to try it out

Click the link to get Engadget’s review, which is fairly favorable and includes the good news that the service seems to work with Google and Roku internet television units. The one big caveat I see is that Netflix subscribers probably won’t get more out of Amazon’s service than they already have. That seems reasonable to me. I can’t imagine that Amazon will want to compete with Netflix in the streaming market. The roster of movies and television shows looks like it could keep a dedicated viewer busy for quite a while (I spy several older seasons of Doctor Who, for instance) and there are plenty of kids’ shows to make the harried parent happy.

I’ve been a big fan of Amazon Prime — $79 a year gets you two-day shipping for “free”, and one-day shipping for $3.99 an item — for a little while now. I’ve shifted some of the purchases I’d normally make in brick and mortar stores to Amazon, especially for non-perishable grocery items and household items I might otherwise pick up at WalMart. Prime makes those single-item purchases far more practical, and I reckon it’s saved me time and money in store trips.

If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member, and use the site more than a couple times a year, you shuold at least consider it. I’ll say here that I may make a few bucks if you sign up with that link, but I’m not entirely sure. Once upon a time, Amazon did pay us bloggers when anyone signed up for Prime via our websites, but I think that was a temporary offer. Money or not, though, I do think Prime is a good deal and this new streaming video service makes it even better.

Tags: ,

Category: Stuff I Like

About the Author ()