COMMENTARY | Video streaming options seem to be popping up faster than new video games. Mashable is reporting that Amazon Video on Demand is now available on the Xbox 360 gaming console, which gives consumers yet another competitor looking to offer downloadable or streamable movies and television shows. Amazon's entrance into the Xbox world allows it to join video streaming staples Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Vudu on the gaming console, and those competitors should be worried about VOD becoming available.
Of course, Amazon Video on Demand has a slightly different pricing structure than its immediate competitors. While Amazon offers the traditional pay-per-episode or film structure, which is similar to Vudu, Amazon Prime offers users access to a large catalog for a one-time payment of $79, according to the AFP. Sure the Xbox is getting a bit crowded when it comes to video apps, but giving users options is never a bad idea.
The funny thing about the Amazon Video on Demand business model is that it has that pay-per-view aspect that movie studios favor, according to CNET.com, and with Amazon Prime the service offers up a host of titles cheaper than the cost of a basic Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription. The only thing missing is the Disc-to-Digital program that Wal-Mart and UltraViolet are teaming up and delivering over Vudu.
Netflix might have a much larger catalog than Amazon Prime, but many television shows are available on both platforms, and the same can be said for Hulu Plus. However, only Amazon offers up the ability to sprinkle in newer movies without leaving the service. If the Internet retailing giant can get the studios to throw a couple of exclusives its way, Netflix and Hulu could be in big trouble very quickly, especially when consumers figure out that Netflix and Hulu Plus cost around $96 per year to Prime's $79 per year cost. The Xbox 360 could be the tip of the iceberg for Amazon as far as devices are concerned.