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Amazon is going to war with Netflix.
The online-retail giant is letting customers subscribe to its video-streaming service by itself for the first time, CNN Money reports — creating a standalone service that acts as a direct competitor to Netflix.
Amazon has been heavily investing in its digital-content business in recent years. But until now, it has only ever been available as part of Amazon Prime, Amazon’s subscription service that also includes free one-day delivery.
But now customers will be able to subscribe on a month-by-month basis just to the video options — straightforwardly named Amazon Video.
Its price also undercuts Netflix by a dollar — Amazon Video will cost $8.99 a month, versus $9.99 for Netflix. (European pricing or launch details for Amazon Video weren’t immediately available, but it seems likely it will similarly undercut Netflix on the continent.)
Another change: Customers can also subscribe to the full Amazon Prime service on a monthly basis. It costs $10.99 a month, or $99 a year in the US.
Amazon boasts an increasingly impressive roster of content in its video service, with high-budget original shows like «The Man In The High Castle» and the forthcoming show by the «Top Gear» team.
But Netflix is a formidable opponent: In a recent Morgan Stanley poll, 29% of people surveyed said that Netflix has the best original content — beating HBO for the first time, and trouncing Amazon Prime, which just 5% said had the best material. Netflix also has the most loyal subscribers of all its competitors, according to research from Parks Associates.