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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on Amazon Prime Instant: “A confusing mess.”

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Netflix (s NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings had some choice words about Amazon’s Prime Instant video streaming service when quizzed about his competitors by the Wall Street Journal:

“It’s really about low-cost shipping, but why is video in there? It’s kind of a confusing mess.”

Hastings has in the past dismissed Amazon’s (s AMZN) video subscription efforts as well, and tends to point instead to HBO and its HBO Go service as its real competitors. That’s despite the fact that Amazon has been ramping up its content library in recent months. Earlier this month, Amazon singned a deal with Epix that will give its subscribers access to the Hunger Games, Avengers and other movies previously exclusive to Netflix.

There have been rumors in the past that Amazon would spin off its video service from Prime to turn it into a full-blown Netflix competitor, but the company has repeatedly denied any such plans.

17 Responses to “Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on Amazon Prime Instant: “A confusing mess.””

  1. Isabella Wilcox

    Amazon Prime is awesome because I have the Prime plan so it is unlimited watching. It’d be great if all contents on Amazon is in the Prime package though. I’d pay $20 a month for that.

    For those who don’t have Amazon Prime or Netflix in your country. You can use UnoDNS to get the the US version of Netflix or Amazon Prime with more movies.

  2. Muddy Mudskipper

    I think Mr. Hastings doth protest too much. Amazon can cross-subsidize Prime Instant Video with the revenue it generates from Prime, and ultimately this will prove very formidable and a serious threat to Netflix. Look at the simple economics from the perspective of a U.S. customer – $79 a year for Amazon Prime Instant Video or $107.88 a year for Netflix Instant. With Amazon, you get 2 day free shipping plus a few other goodies included. With Netflix you get nothing extra. In order to compete, Netflix will have to spend billions to have a deeper library to make it a more attractive option. Even if they do spend that money, it will mean they don’t make any profits. And Amazon isn’t going away. Bottom line: Netflix is in big trouble.

    • on two seperate wsteibes is actually a bad thing.a0 This statement just comes a few weeks after announcing that they wanted to launch Qwikster which makes you wonder why they couldn’t figure this out

  3. He’s not completely wrong. I’m glad Amazon offers the bonus for Prime Members like me, but finding things to actually watch is painful. Amazon has good price, but the site is generally a mess and finding Prime Movie is just as bad.

  4. What you guys don’t understand is why Amazon is so well positioned to delivery video that it will put Netflix out of business.. Amazon has infrastructure and lots of it. Ever heard of Amazon Web Services? No, I bet you don’t, because I lost you at infrastructure.. Think of infrastructure like Real Estate in the digital world.. Data centers all over the world poised to deliver data.. and not only video data… Amazon doesn’t own content, they realize that, what they do own is the means to deliver it for practically free.. because they own the farm. @sub par, Amazon actually has the ability to deliver much better quality and more reliable video… Now Does Netflix own any of their infrastructure? Nope, they outsource it, to people like Amazon :) Read things like this before you make foolish comments with the insight of 9 year old. Oh and then go find out how much of Netflix overhead goes to video delivery… The writing is on the wall folks..

  5. I agree with Hastings’ comments, Amazon prime video is a mess and I also don’t understand why it’s there. I subscribe to prime because of the free 2 day delivery. I never use the video service because only old unpopular movies are available for free and they charge too much to rent or buy a film. Prime video also offers a sub-par experience, I find that it servers lower video quality when compared to netflix and lacks subtitles.

    I rather amazon dump the video service and offer prime at a lower price.

    • Let me guess…you are either an Amazon employee, know Hastings or own stock in Amazon…If none of these, then you are plain dumb. If you are getting a free service without paying extra for it….why would you have a problem with it?