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Old 01-26-2012, 12:09 AM   #1
BenG
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Amazon to launch standalone video service?

"Netflix said on Wednesday that it expects Amazon.com to brand its video streaming offering as standalone service.
Netflix also said it expects Amazon's standalone service to be priced below its own service.
Netflix made the prediction in a letter to shareholders that was posted on its website Wednesday."
-Reuters

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46139631.../#.TyDee_k8B8E
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #2
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And me predicts it will only be available to US customers.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #3
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Prime Videos is the reason I signed up for Amazon Prime. They'll need to beef up content before they can spin it off, but it's a no-brainer that this is what they had in mind from the get go.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:59 AM   #4
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And me predicts it will only be available to US customers.
Given that all Amazon's video offerings are US-only, I think you're pretty safe in that assumption.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:56 AM   #5
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Given that all Amazon's video offerings are US-only, I think you're pretty safe in that assumption.
Why is that, do you think ? geographic specific licences, or cash matters... ?
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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Why is that, do you think ? geographic specific licences, or cash matters... ?
The complexity of negotiating rights, almost without a doubt. Note, however, that Amazon do own "lovefilm.com" which operates in the UK and offers both download and streaming services.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:25 AM   #7
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The complexity of negotiating rights, almost without a doubt. Note, however, that Amazon do own "lovefilm.com" which operates in the UK and offers both download and streaming services.
Correct on both counts.
It is not an Amazon issue, say "gamma testing" in the US before taking it international, but rather standard industry practice.

Video rental rights are negotiated country-by-country, much as book publishing rights.

As a rule, US rights are a lot easier to acquire and deploy than for other countries. And not just because of the content providers; video "broadcasting" is a protected and heavily regulated industry worldwide with a lot of hoops to jump through before deployment. Look at how hard it has been for XBOX Live video services to propagate or Sony's PSN equivalents.

In some cases, though, international projects turn out to face lower entry barriers than the US, most notably the XBOX IPTV efforts in the UK. The US equivalent efforts have been hampered by the CableCos tying the IPTV services to their cablecasting services and content suppliers' unwillingness to confront them.

Given that video streaming services are competitors to the CableCos on-demand video rentals, and that those same cablecos control broadband services in most markets, it is no surprise they would do everything legally allowed to hamper deployment of competitor services.

Netflix just happened to slip in, mostly unnoticed, before the CableCos noticed.
Hulu got in because it is owned by the content providers and the CableCos weren't abbout to mess with them *as a unit*.
Amazon taking Prime streaming standalone, even in the US, is a non-trivial effort. Even if they want to, they may not be able to deploy for a year or more. (Again, it's taken Microsoft three years to get even a skeleton IPTV offering in place and *they* have extensive Hollywood contacts going back to the last century.)

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-26-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:29 AM   #8
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Netflix just happened to slip in, mostly unnoticed, before the CableCos noticed.
Hulu got in because it is owned by the content providers and the CableCos weren't abbout to mess with them *as a unit*.
Amazon taking Prime streaming standalone, even in the US, is a non-trivial effort. Even if they want to, they may not be able to deploy for a year or more. (Again, it's taken Microsoft three years to get even a skeleton IPTV offering in place and *they* have extensive Hollywood contacts going back to the last century.)
Netflix have just launched here in the UK, but with a selection of programming that I really can't imagine is going to attract too many people.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:04 AM   #9
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I'd be interested in seeing a full-blown Amazon streaming service, as long as the price is right. If the content on both Amazon on Netflix is similar (mostly same movies, etc), I may look closer at it if something like this happens.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #10
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Netflix have just launched here in the UK, but with a selection of programming that I really can't imagine is going to attract too many people.
That's how most video services launch.
XBOX Live video started with a bunch of old films and the bulk of (whoo-dee-doo!) Lionsgate and STARZ movies. Took them a few months to add better quality content and a year or so to get the big studios onboard. The turning point came when they got Disney to sign up. After that the other studios came on board. (Except Sony. I wonder why. ) Now it is about as good as anything out there and MS is confident enough to open XBOX up to Vudu, Cinema Now, and other direct competitors. Helps to have an installed base north of 60 million, of course.

Hulu likewise launched with nothing worthwile, movie-wise. What got them on the map was the TV shows--the retroactive DVR aspect--and now they're starting to add movies and original content. Netflix is also doing original content; enough to tick off HBO, too.

Essentially Netflix and Hulu, and probably others, are becoming full-blown programming networks, not just distributors like the CableCos.
(Reminds me of Microsoft's aborted internet programming effort in the early days of MSN. A decade too early that one.)
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Video streaming rights in the US are very expensive. Netflix pays $200 million just for the Epix movies per year. Not even in HD.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #12
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Prime Videos is the reason I signed up for Amazon Prime. They'll need to beef up content before they can spin it off, but it's a no-brainer that this is what they had in mind from the get go.
Our free one-month trial of Amazon Prime expired this week. My husband and I enjoyed most of the movies we watched, but we decided not to convert to the $79 annual Prime membership mainly because we found Prime video selection to be lacking. If they offered a wider selection of newer/higher-rated movies at a reasonable monthly subscription rate, we would sign up!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:17 AM   #13
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Our free one-month trial of Amazon Prime expired this week. My husband and I enjoyed most of the movies we watched, but we decided not to convert to the $79 annual Prime membership mainly because we found Prime video selection to be lacking. If they offered a wider selection of newer/higher-rated movies at a reasonable monthly subscription rate, we would sign up!
The main benefit of Prime membership is free rapid shipping of everything you buy from Amazon. Given that I do virtually all my shopping these days at Amazon, for me, Prime membership is a "no brainer".
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
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I'm one of the people Netflix is concerned about. I get streaming plus DVD so my rate doubled last year. We got some Fires this Christmas and sampled the Prime service. It is not ready to compete with Netflix. I suspect it will be, though, so 'Amazon Video capable' is a screening criteria for new devices. When Amazon is ready, Netflix will lose one more customer.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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The main benefit of Prime membership is free rapid shipping of everything you buy from Amazon. Given that I do virtually all my shopping these days at Amazon, for me, Prime membership is a "no brainer".
The only reason I, personally, would subscribe to Prime would be for the videos, but most people seem to do it for the shipping.

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