Amazon has announced that it's Instant Video service has secured exclusive rights to Downton Abbey, the same day that Netflix exclusive House of Cards went live. Season 3 of the popular show will debut on Amazon Prime Instant Video on June 18th. The first two seasons are available on Hulu and Netflix, but will be removed later this year. Season 4 (and 5, if produced) will maintain Amazon exclusivity.
It's fun to sit back and observe the battle between Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but we have to wonder what this does for customers. If you want to be able to watch shows that are exclusive to different services, then you need to be a subscriber to all of them. Not super-expensive at about $25 per month, but it's still a substantial jump over just choosing one service for $8 per month and sticking with it.
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Amazon Prime is the best deal in tech, and now Amazon aims to make it's two-day shipping, Kindle Lending Library, and instant movie and television streaming service a bit more accessible with an alternate price structure. Amazon customers now have the option of paying $7.99 per month for a Prime membership, which some may find more palatable compared to the yearly $79 lump sum pricing. Obviously, paying for a year up front offers a 20% savings, but we're sure many will opt for the monthly payment interval. Some are calling this a direct shot at Netflix and Hulu, each of which also offer instant streaming of television and movies, however, both lack any sort of shipping option (or retail store,) or monthly ebook lending library.
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Amazon has announced yet another video sponsorship for Prime Instant Video, this time with premium cable network Epix. The partnership will bring over 3,000 movies from the likes of Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM to Amazon's streaming offering, including movies like The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Thor, and more. Amazon and Epix have announced that this is a multi-year licensing deal. Amazon Prime Instant Video is available as one of many perks of the $79 per year Amazon Prime membership. The Epix titles will be available 90 days after they appear on Epix VOD. Netflix had previously held an exclusive license for Epix content, which has now expired.
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Amazon has announced a deal with NBCUniversal that brings even more video content to its Prime Instant Video streaming offering. Hundreds of new episodes of plenty of different shows are now part of Amazon Prime Instant Video including Battlestar Galactica, Parks and Recreation, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Parenthood, and many more. Amazon Prime members can access Instant Video from their PC, Mac, Kindle Fire, iPad, Roku, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. The service also recently added hundreds of offerings from both Paramount and MGM.
Today Amazon has released its long-awaited Instant Video iPad app on Apple's App Store. If you're an Amazon Prime member, this means that you have access to the entire Prime Instant Video catalog, but anyone can access purchased content on-demand as well. We've been playing with it this morning, and it works just as you'd expect it to, with badges indicating which pieces of content are available for free to Prime members.
One nice bonus is that the app supports AirPlay, essentially bringing Amazon Instant Video to your Apple TV. Sure, it's not built-in like Netflix or the newly-added Hulu Plus, but it still allows you to enjoy Amazon's streaming catalog on your television if you own an Apple TV. You can download the free Amazon Instant Video app now.
Amazon has just announced a new partnership with MGM Studios that's set to bring hundreds of additional TV and movie classics to Amazon Prime Instant Video. This includes such hits as The Silence of the Lambs, Species, Rain Man, Stargate, and The Terminator. This brings the total of Amazon's offerings to over 18,000 movies and television episodes that you can stream to your Xbox 360 and other devices, all included in the price of your Amazon Prime membership.
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Amazon continues to make its Amazon Prime service more enticing today with the announcement that it's added hundreds more movies to its Instant Video streaming video catalog thanks to an agreement with Paramount. Starting today, you can watch movies like Mission Impossible III, Nacho Libre, Star Trek, The Italian Job, and more if you're a Prime member.
Good news for everyone owning a Kindle Fire and subscribed to Amazon Prime (as well as owners of any other media streaming device with Prime compatibility,) as Amazon has announced that it will now offer its subscribers increased instant streaming of videos to supported devices. The press release states that users will be able to stream TV shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT and Logo.
All of this is made possible due to Amazon recently making a deal with Viacom, bringing the total number of available streaming offerings to over 15,000, all of which are supported on over 300 devices. Between Netflix, the Redbox-Verizon deal, and Amazon Prime, the streaming video subscription space is heating up!
Here at Gear Live, we have a love affiar with Amazon. They've got our credit card numbers, our accounts are Prime, and the Kindles flow like wine. However, unless you choose overnight shipping, you still have to wait for the items you purchased. It's a small price ot pay for the convenience, but for some, instant gratifiction is what's missing. That may even be changing with Amazon, as the company will be venturing into the brick and mortar store business.
Those lucky enough to live in the Seattle area (that's us!) may soon be seeing an Amazon store popping up at a local mall. Amazon is exploring the idea, kind of a trial and error run, to see if they have a profitable market in physical stores. Amazon wants to provide an Apple-like store experience for consumers who want to buy a Kindle, for example. This is a brilliant move on Amazon’s part, as the Kindle currently is not under its full control in retail, being left to the whims of a retail associate at Target or Best Buy who likely don't know much about it.
That Amazon tablet we've been waiting on for months has finally arrived, and it's called the Kindle Fire. Amazon's looking to disrupt the tablet landscape with the Fire, and is pricing it aggressively at $199. So, what do you get for your money? Well, the Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces and packs a 7-inch IPS display with Gorilla Glass protection, dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 8 GB of on-board storage. It runs a forked version of Android that Amazon has prettied up in a major way, customizing and optimizing it to take advantage of Amazon's various services. The Fire also has Wi-Fi built-in, but lacks a 3G option, camera, and microphone.
Purchasers of the Kindle Fire also get a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which'll let you get a nice sampling of what the company's Video on Demand service offers. Other services you can access from the Fire include Amazon's Android Appstore, Kindle books, a host of magazines, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, and the Amazon MP3 service. One nice feature is that WhisperSync, the technology that let you continue reading Kindle books from where you left off across multiple devices, now works with movies and TV shows. In other words, you can start a show on your Kindle Fire, and continue where you left off on your television. Another big feature is the inclusion of the Amazon Silk web browser, which does all the web processings on Amazon's EC2 servers, greatly speeding up the browsing experience.
You can pre-order a Kindle Fire now, and it'll ship on November 15th - check out the commercial after the break.
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