Amazon is taking more direct aim at SVOD-OTT competitors such as Netflix and Hulu by introducing a new standalone subscription streaming option that sells for $8.99 per month, according to multiple reports.
Amazon had previously offered access to its subscription-based video library to subscribers who took its $99 per year Prime service that includes free two-day shipping of products purchases via Amazon.com, among other perks.
Update: Amazon is now referencing new month-to-month subscription options on this customer service page.
Amazon’s video-only streaming subscription option will undercut Netflix’s most popular offering that runs $9.99 per month and allows for subs to watch two streams at once and access Netflix’s HD library. Netflix also sells a single-stream, standard-definition-only service for $7.99 per month, and a four-stream plan with access to its HD and 4K library for $11.99 per month.
Amazon’s new standalone option also enters play as Netflix prepares to move grandfathered subscribers to its $9.99 monthly price point, a move that some believe will lead to a slowdown of subscriber gains.
Hulu’s baseline standalone subscription service, which includes commercials, runs $4.99 per month, while a new commercial-free version costs $11.99 per month.
Amazon is also, for the first, time, starting to offer Amazon Prime to all U.S. customers for $10.99 per month, The Wall Street Journaland other media outlets reported Sunday. Sprint and Amazon recently inked a deal that lets Sprint customers subscribe to Amazon Prime for $10.99 per month as an add-on to their cellular service plans. Though customers who take the new option will have the ability to buy service on month to month basis, it’s more expensive than the annual plan if they keep Amazon Prime for a full year (paying for Prime on a monthly basis will run $131.88 over 12 months.). Amazon raised the price of Amazon Prime for U.S. subscribers by $20 – from $79 to $99 per year— back in 2014.
Amazon was not available Sunday evening for additional comment on the new plans.
Amazon is reportedly in talks with programmers about securing rights for a possible live TV service, and has already begun to offer add-on subscriptions from partners such as Starz and Showtime via a new “Streaming Partners Program” for Amazon Prime.
Last month, Amazon launched the “Amazon Cable Store,” which currently features a range of services and packages from Comcast, though other MSOs are expected to join the mix eventually.