To the surprise of almost no one, Amazon finally announced that it was raising prices on annual Amazon Prime subscriptions by 25%, going from $79 to $99 a year. Although Amazon is officially saying that it had to increase its Prime prices due to increased shipping costs, Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson isn’t buying it. Instead of shipping costs, Dawson thinks that Amazon is jacking up Prime prices in anticipation of its upcoming music streaming service that will put it head-to-head with Pandora, iTunes Radio and Spotify. More →
Ever since Amazon announced it was considering raising the price of Prime subscriptions, customers of the gargantuan online marketplace have been very vocal about their disapproval. Increasing the price of a service without adding any value is typically grounds for outrage on the Internet, but Amazon might be looking into a solution to appease its subscribers. Sources say that Amazon is currently in talks with recording labels in order to lay the groundwork for its own music streaming service, one which could come bundled with every Prime subscription, according to Re/code. More →
People may love Amazon Prime, but Amazon shouldn’t take that love for granted anytime soon. The Wall Street Journal points us to a new survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners showing that while most Amazon Prime customers plan on renewing their subscriptions right now, that number would drop significantly if it meant paying between $99 and $119 versus the $79 annual membership they pay today. According to CIRP’s survey, 40% of Prime customers said they would “definitely” not renew their subscriptions if Amazon hiked the price all the way up to $119 while less than half said they would “probably” or “definitely” renew their subscriptions if Amazon raised prices up to $99. More →
If you’re already dreading the Amazon Prime price increase and you want to vent your frustration — but maybe also accomplish something productive in the process — we’ve got the social media campaign for you. Eric Neuman over at Simple Actually was tired of waiting for Instant Video streaming to come to his Android devices, so he told Amazon he wanted a discount on his Prime membership as he wasn’t receiving the same service as other users who pay the same amount he does. Amazon’s response? More →
Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime service is one of the Internet’s hidden gems. For $79 a year, the company offers Prime members free two-day shipping and access to thousands of streaming TV shows and movies. For frequent online shoppers, Prime is a no-brainer. While Amazon has never disclosed how many people have signed up for Prime, recent estimates suggest the service is quite successful. More →
Before Amazon (AMZN) gets ready to unleash its new Kindle Fire tablet, the retail giant on Tuesday announced a new partnership with EPIX that looks to beef up the company’s Prime streaming service. The multi-year licensing agreement between the two companies will deliver 25,000 new movies and TV episodes such as “The Avengers” and “The Hunger Games” to the Prime Instant Video service, which is available for $79 per year and also offers customers free two-day shipping. “We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Prime Instant Video library for our customers. We have now more than doubled this selection of movies and TV episodes to over 25,000 titles in just under a year,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of Video and Music at Amazon. Amazon’s press release follows below.
Amazon (AMZN) on Friday announced a new partnership with Warner Brothers (TWX) that will bring new content to its Prime Instant Video library. The new licensing agreement adds shows such as The West Wing and Fringe to the retail giant’s popular streaming service. “Since launching Prime Instant Video, we’ve continued to expand both the quantity and quality of video content for our Prime members,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “Bringing Fringe and The West Wing – two shows with a devoted fan base – to Prime Instant Video first, is another way for us to add value for Prime members and to continue to give customers content they love.” Amazon’s Prime service is available for $79 per year and offers customers free two-day shipping, and access to more than 18,000 instantly streamed movies and TV episodes. Amazon’s press release follows below. More →
Amazon on Wednesday announced a new licensing agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that will see hundreds of classic movies and TV shows added to the company’s Prime Instant Video catalog. The service, which is available for $79 per year and offers customers free two-day shipping, is now home to more than 18,000 instantly streamed movies and TV episodes. “Our customers tell us they love having tons of movies and TV shows to choose from, which is why we are focused on adding even more titles to our already extensive Prime Instant Video library,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “MGM offers one of the most distinguished catalogs in all of Hollywood, and this deal will bring Prime Instant Video customers hundreds of new titles to enjoy on their Kindle Fire or any device compatible with Amazon Instant Video. Customers can enjoy favorites like The Silence of the Lambs, Dances with Wolves, Rain Man and The Terminator, as well as fan-favorite TV series like Stargate.” Amazon’s press release follows below More →
Amazon on Wednesday announced that it has reached a licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures that will enable Prime Instant Video customers in the U.S. to stream hundreds of new hit movies over the next three years. The service, which is available for $79 a year and offers customers free two-day shipping, now features more than 17,000 movies and TV episodes. “We are continuing to invest in building a vast selection for Prime Instant Video and are excited to bring Prime customers some of the most renowned and popular films in cinema history under this new agreement with Paramount,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “This deal will bring Prime Instant Video customers hundreds of new movies to enjoy on their Kindle Fire or any device connected to Amazon Instant Video, including titles such as Star Trek, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Top Gun, The Italian Job and The Truman Show, and we will remain committed to adding even more great movies and TV shows to Prime Instant Video in the future.” Amazon’s press release follows below. More →
Online retail giant Amazon is said to be stretching the truth regarding the size of its streaming content library when reporting numbers to the public. According to a report from Fast Company, the “17,000 movies and television shows” Amazon claims to offer Amazon Prime customers is inflated by roughly 10 times. Amazon Prime members have free, unlimited access to Amazon’s streaming content catalog, which can be viewed using a number of devices including a Roku set-top box and Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. Rather than counting a TV series toward the total content tally Amazon claims its users have access to, Amazon counts each individual episode of a TV show toward that 17,000-title total. So, for example, Fox’s “24” counts not once but 192 times, and various versions of the “Power Rangers” show add 715 shows to Amazon’s catalog. The actual size of Amazon’s library? 1,745 movies and 150 television series. Netflix, which has been said to have a catalog of 60,000 streaming titles, actually has approximately 13,000 different titles including 9,500 movies and 3,500 TV series, the report claims.
Online movie streaming in the United States is expected to top both DVD and Blu-ray use for the first time ever in 2012, according to a study from IHS Screen Digest. The study suggests that in 2012, Americans will legally stream 3.4 billion movies online — twice the 1.4 billion streamed in 2011 — while DVD and Blu-ray movies watching this year will to 2.4 billion from 2.6 billion in 2011. Last year, the unlimited-streaming services offered by Netflix and Amazon Prime accounted for 94% of all paid online movie viewing in the U.S. Additionally, consumers paid an average of $0.51 for every movie streamed online, compared to $4.72 for DVD and Blu-ray discs. “We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” IHS analyst Dan Cryan said. “But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.” More →
As Amazon continues to expand its business into new areas, the company reportedly plans to follow Netflix’s lead and introduce original TV content in the future. Rumors suggesting the Seattle-based retail giant was planning an entrance into the original programming game first surfaced last month, and now Forbes reports that a recent hire at Amazon reinforces earlier reports. Joe Lewis, formerly with Comedy Central and 20th Century Fox, briefly listed his new job title as “Vice-President of Original TV at Amazon” until Fortune contacted him for comment on Tuesday. The executive then promptly changed his title to “Vice-President, Production at Amazon Studios.” No other information about Lewis’s role at Amazon or Amazon’s possible original programming efforts were made available. Streaming video rival Netflix released season 1 of its first original series “Lilyhammer” last month, and it has at least two other series — new original seasons of “Arrested Development” and “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey — in the works. More →
Amazon on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a new agreement with Viacom to provide a larger selection of television content to its Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime customers. Under the deal, Amazon’s customers will have access to episodes of The Real World, Chapelle’s Show and the The Sarah Silverman Program from Comedy Central, as well as a number of hit shows from Nickelodeon. “This deal with Viacom brings Prime customers and Kindle Fire users thousands of comedies, kids’ shows, reality TV and much more from some of the best cable networks available,” Amazon’s director of video content acquisition Brad Beale said. “We now offer more than 15,000 movies and TV shows in Prime Instant Videos and are working hard to add even more great content.” Amazon’s full press release follows after the break. More →