Amazon is taking a direct swipe at Netflix with an aggressive new pricing scheme designed to attract users who don’t want to make an annual commitment, announcing a new video service separate from Amazon Prime membership, and allowing a flexible monthly subscription option for both services. The newly established Prime Video service is available for $8.99 monthly, with a new monthly Prime subscription costing $10.99. Annual subscriptions remain available for both. Currently available only to users in the U.S., the new options will become available beginning Sunday night.
With Prime Video and the new monthly price for Prime, Amazon is now competing directly with rival Netflix. In fact, the new pricing options come weeks before the recently-announced Netflix membership price hike to $9.99 per month kicks in. As with Netflix and Amazon Prime, Prime Video subscribers will be able to share their accounts with friends, with up to three streams allowed to run concurrently on a single account.
At $131.88 (combined total for 12 months), the monthly subscription price for Amazon Prime is of course more expensive than the $99.00 cost of an annual membership, but customers are now allowed to cancel their subscriptions at any time. Monthly and annual Prime subscribers will continue to receive benefits of membership – free shipping, Prime music downloads, and access to Prime TV and movies including Amazon originals Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, The Man in the High Castle, Catastrophe, Red Oaks, Hand of God, and the Emmy award-winning Transparent. Prime Video subscribers will have access to all TV and film selections, but not the shipping or music services. Both Prime and Prime Video subscribers will be able to purchase add-on subscriptions to video services such as Starz and Showtime.