If you’re a regular user of Amazon.com, you’ve no doubt heard of their Amazon Prime program. For just $79 per year, you get free two-day shipping on any purchase you make. That may sound like a lot to spend in one shot, but if you’re a big online shopper and Amazon user, you’re all too familiar with the high costs of shipping these days. Buy something once per month online, and the basic annual shipping could be $60 or $70 easy. So the $79 really isn’t that outrageous. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy getting their orders in just two-days time?
Still, $79 is a lot of scratch to shell out at once. But leave it to Amazon to make a solid program even better. Amazon announced today that all Prime members can now enjoy free unlimited instant streaming of movies and TV shows, along with your free two-day shipping. Basically, they’ve taken a very popular feature on Netflix and iTunes and rolled it into their Prime progam.
Currently, you can stream any of Amazon’s 5,000 movies and TV shows on a PC, Mac or various Internet TVs and Blu-ray players. Chances are it won’t be long before Amazon works out deals with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to add streaming via video game platforms like the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or PS3.
So how does Amazon Prime stack up against Netflix’s instant streaming? Tough call. Netflix certainly seems to offer more (and better) content right out of the gate, as well as a monthly (instead of annual) fee. Though if you stretch out Netflix’s $7.99 streaming-only plan for a year, it adds up to $95.88. Amazon Prime not only saves you $15, but gives you free two-day shipping in the process.
For now, it seems like content will probably win out, as well as the ability to stream via your game platform. But once Amazon clears that hurdle and improves its streaming library, chances are, there’s going to be a lot of happy mailman making two-day deliveries.
Get a free one-month trial of Amazon Prime now and let us know what you think!