Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amazon Prime Just Got Better

I've been an enthusiastic Amazon customer since the mid-1990's, and an Amazon Prime member for several years. The main benefit of Prime membership ($79 annually) is free two-day shipping on any size purchase, and overnight shipping for $3.99. With Amazon carrying more and more variety, it's getting so that when I need something and can wait two days I order it from Amazon.

Today the Prime deal got even better: free streaming of 5,000+ movies, videos, and TV shows. (There are thousands more -- the newer releases -- available for rent-by-streaming for $3.99.) I discovered this early this morning when I went to Amazon to check on a book. Within a minute I was watching a beautiful, flicker-free stream of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I haven't been able to take advantage of Netflix's streaming because I don't have an Intel Mac -- but Amazon's streaming works just fine on my G5.

This new feature suddenly makes Amazon Prime an even better deal. (Am I missing something here? Let me know.) For info just go to for a friendly announcement from Jeff Bezos, the big-laugh founder of Amazon.


  1. Poor Blockbuster. They barely get the whole online viewing thing figured out, and now instead of just dealing with Netflix they've gotta compete with Amazon!

    I'm pretty sure we have "Prime". We'll have to check this out. Could we live with Amazon's 50,000 options and drop Netflix? We'd lose our once a week movie that comes in the mail, but I wonder if we'd really miss it.


  2. I saw a Blockbuster store shutting down near me the other day -- hard to compete with Amazon. Bezos picked the right name for the online business he envisioned: "the biggest."

    Just to clarify, right now they're saying "5,000" movies, etc., not 50,000.

  3. Ahh, yes I misread. Tanks for the correction. Well, 5,000 movies to choose from is not quite as exciting as 50,000. But it would be interesting to compare: On Netflix your online viewing seems largely limited to movies no one wants to watch with the occasional exception to keep you using the service. In other words, most of the high demand movies are not available for online viewing. I wonder whether Amazons 5,000 online choices would be represented better by Netflix's online options or Netflix's mail options. If Amazon is making available online movies I would otherwise have to have shipped to watch via Netflix, that makes the Amazon option even more interesting.