As was rumored earlier this month, Amazon.com announced today that subscribers to its premium service, Amazon Prime, can now stream over 5,000 movies and television shows on demand. Amazon Prime, which costs $79 a year, offers free two-day shipping and reduced one-day shipping rates on items bought from the site.
Amazon already offers Instant Video, in which the company charges per streamed movie or show. Currently, the video selection for Amazon Prime is more limited than Instant Video choices, which number around 90,000. Amazon video can be streamed to Macs, PCs and nearly 200 models of Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes that are compatible with Amazon Instant Video.
A spokesman for Amazon told the Wall Street Journal that "the majority of the major studio content offered in Amazon's new streaming service is library content that is five to seven years old." Competitor Netflix, whose streaming-only service costs subscribers a pricier $7.99 a month, offers newer content, some within months of the DVD release date, and streams more than 20,000 movies and TV shows.
Watch here for an upcoming evaluation of both services.