Amazon Launches Free Streaming Service for Prime Members 
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Written by Dick Ward   
Tuesday, 22 February 2011

In an effort to reward its most valuable customers and attract new ones, Amazon has launched a streaming service of their own. Like Netflix, you're able to watch movies you want without having to pay per movie.  Unlike Netflix, this service is being provided at no cost to existing Prime members.

Amazon Prime has always been a bit of a tricky proposition.  It's a great service that gets you free shipping and other benefits, but whether it's worth it or not depends on how much you buy.  $79 a year isn't bad if you buy a lot, but now that number is looking a lot better.  After all, that comes out to $6.50 a month and includes benefits that Netflix doesn't.

There are currently 5,000 titles streaming on Amazon, which is a little less than half of what Netflix offers.  Many of those titles appear to be HD, and all of them are available on any device that currently streams from Amazon.

Don't get too excited if you have a free Amazon Prime membership though.  College students with free Prime memberships have reported that they're unable to access the movies.  Looks like it's paying customers only.

It's hard to tell whether this is just something Amazon is doing to add value to the Prime service or the first step towards being a real Netflix competitor.  We'll certainly be looking forward to finding out more.

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