Amazon Prime Video Becomes Standalone Service To Take On Netflix

Chris CrumTechnology

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Amazon is now offering the option to subscribe to Prime Video without subscribing to Prime itself. Prime Video has, until now, basically been a perk for Prime members, who also get free two-day shipping, unlimited music streaming, access to over a million ebook, early access to lightning deals, and free-same-day delivery in eligible areas.

Now, as it continues to build its original content library to truly compete with Netflix, Amazon is letting people just get its video streaming service without paying more per month to get all the other stuff. If you just want Prime Video, you can get it for $8.99 a month.

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Amazon doesn't have the volume of original programming Netflix does, but that may change in time. Currently, its original series line-up includes Bosch, Hand of God, The Man in High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, and Red Oaks. In the children's department, it has Annedroids, Creative Galaxy, Tumble Leaf, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, Wishenpoof!, and Just Add Magic. Original series that have already ended include Betas, Alpha House, and Mad Dogs.

Amazon also has a continuation of Ripper Street (Season 4) and a number of other titles slated for the future. These include: Z: The Beginning of Everything, The Stinky & Dirty Show, Sneaky Pete, One Mississippi, The Last Tycoon, Jack Ryan, Great Men, an untitled motoring show from W. Chump and Sons, and an untitled Woody Allen TV series.

Amazon also has exclusive streaming rights for a number of titles.

While a standalone subscription to Prime Video is possible and the cheaper option (in the short term), it's still probably worth it to most people to go ahead and get the full Prime package, which is just two dollars more a month. It's actually cheaper in the long run to pay $99 a year and get the whole package. It works out to less than the Prime Video subscription at just $8.25. Understandably, not everyone wants to drop a hundred bucks at once on it though.

The change comes as Netflix prepares to raise prices for its customers who have subscribed for two years and longer. The company announced a price hike in May of 2014. At the time, it raised the price for new subscribers to $8.99 Later, it increased the price of its most popular plan to $9.99 - again for new customers. With the 2014 announcement, they said existing users wouldn't have to pay more for two years, but that two-year point is quickly approaching. Netflix referenced the increase in its most recent quarterly letter to shareholders.

Image via Transparent (Amazon Studios YouTube Channel)

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.