Amazon Looks for Bigger Piece of Online Video Pie

    September 4, 2008
    Chris Crum

Online video competition has just gotten a little more heated. Amazon Video On Demand is making over 40,000 movie and television show titles available for streaming. Before, customers could only download titles and watch them on a PC via Amazon’s Unbox or on their TiVo box. Now you can do that or stream the titles to watch them instantly.

Amazon Video On Demand

Amazon Video On Demand is not going to directly compete with Hulu and other free content sites so much, as it will be charging for its titles, but iTunes and the like will be going head to head with it. People are still going to get what they can for free courtesy of Hulu, even if they have to watch some ads.

"I haven’t found Hulu’s ads to be too annoying – certainly not enough to outweigh the benefit of free," writes MG Siegler at Venture Beat. "But with Hulu there is currently no way to get the content on a television set unless you hook your computer directly into it. That gives users a clear incentive to use Amazon’s service."

This is one reason it could also steal a bit of Netflix’s thunder (although it still has XBox going for it). Another reason is, as far as computers go, Netflix will only let you stream on PCs and not Macs. Amazon Video On Demand is available on either. People also might be tempted to use Amazon because they don’t have to subscribe to a monthly fee.

A nice feature that Amazon is including is the ability to watch the first 2 minutes of any title for free before you purchase or rent it. If traditional video stores had let you do this, I would have saved a whole lot of money over the years.