Today, Amazon officially announced that Amazon Prime members would now get unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 5,000 movies and TV shows (presumably “over 90,000″ if you break down shows into individual episodes). This new feature is in addition to the free 2-day shipping Prime members enjoy for $79 per year. Streaming is available via PC, Mac, and various Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes (e.g. Roku). Amazon is offering a one-month free trial of Prime and after getting free 2-day shipping and tons of movies streamed to your various entertainment devices, you’re likely to shell out the $80 for a year-long subscription.
While Netflix has remained dominant in the video-streaming arena, it’s facing increasing competition. Last week we learned that Hulu Plus had stolen away The Criterion Collection and Amazon is clearly going to be a serious heavyweight. The challenge for Hulu and Amazon, however, is not only expanding their library of streaming titles, but also making their service available on as many devices as possible.