Amazon is going into battle with Netflix. The e-commerce giant launched 2 monthly subscription plans today (April 18)—a $10.99 Amazon Prime subscription, and a video streaming one for $8.99.
Before now, Amazon Prime had only been available through a $99 annual subscription fee, and included 2-day product shipping, music and video streaming services.
It’s a big move, particularly for the video service, which users could previously only access through their Prime subscription. When a standalone Amazon Video service was rumored in 2012, the company publicly commented at the time that offering Amazon Video on its own wasn’t on the roadmap. But the streaming game has changed over the past four years—Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon have started more aggressively bidding for the same original content, traditional video players like HBO and Dish have launched their own streaming video services, and tech giants like Apple don’t seem to be far behind.
For consumers, Amazon Video’s expansion is a cord-cutter’s dream. A combination of Netflix ($9.99/month), Hulu ($7.99, or $11.99 for no commercials), and Amazon would amount to $30.97—that’s $70 less than the average cost of a monthly cable bill. All three services have their own original programming and exclusives, including a lot of the same shows on network TV.
An annual subscription to Amazon’s standalone video service is available, too: It’ll set a customer back $108.
The news should make Netflix’s earnings call, scheduled for later today (April 18) a bit more exciting.