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Summary:

If these screen grabs unearthed by Engadget on Saturday are as legitimate as they appear to be, Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) could have a new rival…

If these screen grabs unearthed by Engadget on Saturday are as legitimate as they appear to be, Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) could have a new rival on its hands courtesy of Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). With apparent plans in place to offer streaming of movies and TV shows, Amazon may be on the verge of mounting the stiffest challenge Netflix has faced yet.

While Amazon has yet to confirm anything, it seems pretty clear what the company has in the works is making streamed content an add-on to its existing Amazon Prime service, which provides free two-day shipping on any products consumers buy from Amazon.

That’s a hugely compelling alternative to Netflix for a number of reasons. First, the $79 it costs to be a part of Amazon Prime is cheaper than $95 Netflix subscribers have to shell out. Amazon also has pockets deep enough to match Netflix on content spending, and may even be able to provide content Netflix doesn’t have.

How swiftly fortunes change: Netflix couldn’t seem to be flying any higher after last week’s gravity-defying fourth-quarter earnings. While those sky-high expectations for the company’s year-ahead will persist, confirmation that the long-awaited competition has arrived could impact Netflix’s stock come Monday.

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  1. This is an interesting development. I wrote an essay predicting that “Netflix Could Save Music” because their subscription model works so well:

    http://www.jasonpaul.net/2011/01/how-netflix-can-save-music/

    But this new development from Amazon changes the game as they are a much better fit to monetize music subscriptions. Really this is about who the next media power player is…great there will be some competition/choice. Somewhat ironic that I’d gather most people who subscribe to Netflix also have Amazon accounts…maybe everyone wins.

  2. What a joke. Give me a break. This is the most shallow take on the news lacking and proves the writer lacks any real knowledge of that business. Do you really think amazon, with one quarter the inventory of netflix, and a scattered, undedicated model with no real proprietary user model even compares? Netflix is an organic and proprietary model that amazon can’t duplicate and is really just leaking a cardboard box imitation of a store front for movies. Deja vu. Amazon has failed before art this and right now they clearly are so scattered in their approach to all their businesses they are having trouble managing them. No way does amazon suddenly have magical powers to unseat the competition nor does their size have any more power over the media companies than netflix does. The take the writer of his piece has proves he lacks any real understanding of the dedicated growth trajectory netflix is on and they model their business developed and runs on. Grade school article at best and sadly, pretty scant of any real relevant opinion.

  3. “hugely compelling alternative”? This is Mickey mouse take on a piece of news you know zero about. Amazon has no inventory to compete, no model that compares, nothing that even makes it compelling in any possible way. Your drama is a pathetic and I am surprised you even write business news. Go back to school and learn what companies do, and then write these articles.

  4. You all should really read up on someone’s background before ripping them apart in comments. @awallenstein has been covering media companies for years, and quite well.

  5. i miss rafat

  6. This is still not a threat to NFLX. NFLX subs can suspend service at any time and save money that way. AMZN cannot match their catalog of movies. This new service is just a plan at the moment and already you’re saying: “How swiftly fortunes change”. Ridiculous. Redboxes are already on the way out. NFLX can stand up to any competition and has for the past few years.

  7. Andrew Goldberg Monday, January 31, 2011

    I think this would be a costly and misdirected mistake for Amazon. I don’t blame them for wanting to defend their media business and grow the number of Prime users. But Prime has nothing to do with online media, and there are more targeted and effective ways to accomplish the task. http://bit.ly/fUzPck

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