Amazon is going to be offering VOD [Video On Demand] services and currently has an arsenal of about 40k flicks. Amazon In addition the service currently has 6K free videos to view as well. The freebies are several years old and include some older TV shows as well. Amazon had previously purchased IMDb which was offering videos. According to the article:
Size of the catalog: We have 40,000 videos, which is large but not as large as what we have in the DVD store, which has hundreds of thousands. We are working on expanding it, but one of the benefits of Amazon is we offer the choice. It is not an either-or choice: if we don’t have it available in Unbox or VOD, we probably have it available in DVD or vice versa.
Download AND Streaming: Only some titles are available for download only now, which is a temporary situation. ALL titles will be available for both streaming and download..it is a matter of us continuing to transcode our library. By the time we launch fully, every title will be available for both. And for one price, you will be able to do both streaming and download. (Ed: They are not offering a choice now of a lower-price-and-one-choice..they consider this an integrated offering). And no subscription options for the service, though users can buy a series for a TV shows and get all shows as the series progresses.
Also, the first two minutes of all videos are available for free for anyone to stream…after that users have to pay to watch. On the quality of the streaming, we compare very well to anyone out there…it is compressed in H2.64 format.
Mobile: We have not yet done anything to optimize the service for mobile devices. but our service is set up such that any of the connected devices that support Flash 9 can support our service.
What is going to be interesting are two things. First, how well Amazon will be able to compete against Netflix who also offers a similar service and second, how an increase in costs for tired broadband service will influence how many people will be able to download these movies.
What do you think? Will you be downloading videos from Amazon or Netflix?