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Streaming Video Integration

March 8, 2011

Thanks, Banksy

As the most loyal of my readers know, I do not own a tv.  I don’t have a television screen hanging on a vacant wall in my apartment like nearly everyone else I know.  Instead I have some 20×200 art and a picture of mayor Bloomberg.  You think I’m joking, but I’m not.

How do I work in media and not own a tv?  Well, first, I read a lot. Turns out people have developed this bizarre habit of post blogging and tweeting about almost everything that happens and even things that are to happen.  A good Google Reader obviates the need for television, magazines or newspapers.  Even my beloved New Yorker.  Second, in addition to Cliff Note-esque transcriptions of everything that happens, almost everything is also available streaming online.  YouTube has a frightening amount of content uploaded each day and sites like Hulu.com and Netflix.com are finding more and more visitors stopping by per day. But, this isn’t news.

The news is that Amazon has decided to throw its hat in the ring. A couple weeks ago, Amazon announced that Video On Demand was free for Amazon Prime users.

Much like the Google Reader, an Amazon Prime account is a necessary indulgence.  I’ve written about it before, but Prime enables free two-day shipping and $3.99 overnight shipping on any item shipped by Amazon (though not a third party).  Doesn’t sound that great?  What about if you remember that due to economies of scales and savvy negotiating Amazon offers just about the lowest rate on just about everything?  Do you really want to walk THREE BLOCKS to CVS to buy a new toothbrush?  No, you want to click a button and have it arrive in the mail in two days and save mucho dinero.

Now you can also save $8 a month by cancelling your Netflix subscription in favor of an Amazon Prime account. That’s right, Amazon is taking on the giant directly. This is an interesting business move for a couple of reasons:

  • This is a great way to sell Prime accounts.  The $70 a year doesn’t seem so bad when you realize how much you get for it: free shipping and free streaming videos.  The price point is similar to that of Netflix as well.  It makes the choice pretty easy.
  • Consumers seem to be consolidating their lives.  In the same way, an internet user doesn’t need to leave Facebook to do anything anymore (games, shopping, news, socializing), they can do it all at Amazon.  Consumers don’t need to be bothered by typing in another URL.  AND Amazon kindly saves its users credit card and shipping information so users can make all necessary transactions on Amazon.

I am interested to see how Netflix et al. fare with this new player in the game and how Amazon’s Prime memberships and revenue grows.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tom Steczkowski permalink
    March 17, 2011 2:01 pm

    Wow. This is really interesting… Might be time for me to toss my TV.

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