While there are many ways to stream content, most people seem to favor streaming services subscriptions where you pay one low fee every month in order to access the entire streaming library on demand. In the United States, Netflix and Hulu have dominated as the go-to services. but Amazon Prime has been flexing its muscles recently, including beefing up its streaming library through a couple of strategic partnerships with Discovery Communications and Viacom. But their current announcement that it now as an app available on Sony’s Playstation3 signals one thing – Netflix and Hulu, you have some serious competition.
Amazon VP of Video and Music Bill Carr said in an interview yesterday “A lot of our customers have been asking us to make our services available on the PlayStation 3 for a long time. It’s all about building the best digital video service available.”
For consumers, this makes a things even more interesting with three solid on demand streaming choices. With a library at over 17,000 titles, it still isn’t as comprehensive as it’s rivals, but the recent moves made by Amazon should signal to the industry that it is playing for keeps. Additionally, it’s cost is $17 per year cheaper than the alternatives.
Both Hulu and Amazon have one serious disadvantage over Netflix – no parental controls, and content that has parents very concerned about letting their children loose on these sites. If it wanted to push ahead as the clear choice, Netflix needs to address it’s limitations in it’s current parental controls.
Additionally, Amazon also offers something that neither Netflix or Hulu do: the ability to access digital video rentals and purchases (click here to learn more) and purchases. Hulu’s advantage: it’s still the clear choice in terms of being able to access the most TV series for multiple seasons. But Netflix has also been getting chummy with television content copyright holders, because one thing is certain about these services – they are very good for Nielsen ratings (read: higher advertising revenues).