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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Enter Stage Right: Video Publishing Intrigue

Can Amazon KO Netflix?
Open curtain on the next chapter of Amazon Intrigue (call it aggressive business practices or is it really good business practices as some claim?)

A clash of the video-streaming titans, Hulu and Netflix, has been going on for a short time --- now throw Amazon with an app for streaming videos into the mix and the clash goes a bit nuclear.

But, does Amazon really have the necessary library of movies to be competitive with the enormous Netflix? Seems the method of counting available streams (videos) are not standardized --- More intrigue.

Christopher Zara of International Business Times has these juicy details on the latest Amazon moves:

Amazon Moves To Pummel Netflix With Instant Video iPad App

Apparently not content with having dismantled the book-publishing industry, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has ramped up its efforts to assume dominion over the burgeoning world of video streaming.


The gargantuan online retailer on Wednesday released an iPad app that provides video streaming for movies and television shows available through its Instant Video service. The free app lets anyone with an iPad buy and stream movies and TV shows, while Amazon Prime members in the U.S. can watch them for free. It also allows subscribers to download videos they've purchased to watch them at a later time. The app's release comes just one day after Hulu made its Hulu Plus content available on Apple TV -- Apple's digital-media receiver.

Amazon's Instant Video service is already offered as an added bonus to subscribers of Amazon Prime, but the iPad app is seen as a major step for Amazon in its attempt to compete directly with Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX). The latter has been in its own video-streaming war with Hulu, but with 24 million subscribers in the United States alone, Netflix is the market leader in video streaming. If Amazon gets its way, however, that will soon change.

"The immediate access to 120,000 videos may convince more people to sign up for Prime," wrote CNet's Lance Whitney, "even Netflix users like me who can't always find our favorite movies or TV shows available for streaming."

Netflix had long been concerned about the possibility of Amazon splitting off its Prime service into a direct competitor. In January, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings report that he expects Amazon "to continue to offer [its] video service as a free extra with Prime domestically, but also to brand [its] video subscription offering as a stand-alone service at a price less than ours."

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