Amazon rolled out its instant streaming video service this morning, which is a part of its $79 per year Prime membership.We just got off the phone with Cameron Janes, Amazon’s director of Instant Video who added some colour to the announcement.
He says Amazon is “just getting started,” and it’s looking “grow the selection” of movies and TV shows over time. Right now it’s just 5,000 compared an estimated 20,000 or so for Netflix.
He also says instant streaming will, “introduce more customers to Amazon video in general.” Amazon has a library of 90,000 movies and TV shows and hopes to feed its customers into its individual video options. For instance, say you want to stream “Iron Man 2.” Amazon doesn’t have it as a stream, but for $3.99 you could rent it, or you could buy it for $14.99.
In other words, this is a way for Amazon to elbow in on Apple’s iTunes lock on digital music/movies.
We ask Janes about Apple. He was very tight lipped. No word on whether we’ll see Amazon streaming on the iPad, on Apple TV, or any other mobile device for that matter. (Also no word on how Apple’s new subscription plan might affect Amazon.)
Beyond video rentals, using instant streaming as a way to get more people signed up for Prime is smart. More people using Prime means more people buying stuff from Amazon.com.