By Matt Burns
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is constantly growing and expanding its catalog of videos available for on-demand streaming. The service just reached the 100k mark with 9,000 of those available under the Prime streaming plan. The bulk of the library is set aside for à la carte renting and buying with TV titles starting at $.99 and movies for $3.99. With deep living room penetration, all Amazon needs to do is flip the switch, offer a reasonably-priced subscription plan open to all titles, and effectively shut down Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
Amazon’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. Netflix announced a few weeks back that its most popular subscription plan was increasing in price by 60%. That price change is almost ready to happen and many might be looking for an alternative. Well, here’s Amazon, standing tall with an on-demand three times larger than Netflix’s.
Amazon Instant Video followed Netflix’s lead into supporting as many hardware platforms as possible. The system is available through the web, on most game systems, smartphone platforms, and many, many set-top boxes. Only a few of those devices have access to Amazon Instant Video Prime, which offers videos through a Netflix-style system. The rest are available for purchase or rental, which isn’t the most cost-friendly route for media hogs.
With their huge library and deep reach, Amazon would be a prime suspect to disrupt Netflix’s dominance. Consumers know and trust the Amazon brand. This isn’t a scrappy startup trying to topple Goliath with sheer will. But right now, with Amazon’s per-movie, per-episode pricing, most consumers will probably stick with Netflix — unless Amazon gets the message and outs a competitive plan.