Everyone was predicting that it was only a matter of time before Amazon made a serious move towards becoming a serious competitor in the on-demand video streaming service market. Where previously their video service was just part of the Amazon Prime package, now for the first time they are offering it as a stand-alone option and to also offer a monthly membership instead of just an annual one. At $8.99, it’s just a little bit cheaper than the current price of a lot of video streaming services.

Furthermore, Amazon will also be offering its Prime membership as a monthly subscription for US customers at $10.99, instead of the annual $99 fee that you pay to get Prime shipping service, Kindle Lending Library, and Amazon Music, among other things. This new move means that Amazon feels like it’s ready to take on Netflix, Hulu, and the like in the on-demand video streaming market that seems to be the most popular way that users consume their TV and movie video content.

Aside from critically-acclaimed original series like Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Man in the High Castle, etc, the advantage of Amazon Prime is that it allows you to download content for offline viewing. And if you’re flying on Jet Blue, you can also access it for free while on the flight. They’ve also been expanding their library, recently adding older content from HBO and also premium TV network Epix.

Netflix is still king of the jungle in terms of paying customers, with 43.4 million in the US alone and 75 million globally. Amazon doesn’t release numbers for its Prime membership but the educated guess is around 40 to 60 million worldwide. Let’s see if the numbers increase with this new monthly, stand-alone service.

VIA: Wall Street Journal