Amazon CEO Mum on Prime Instant Video Taking on Netflix18 May, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Whether Amazon’s nascent Prime Instant Video service is aimed at upending streaming market leader Netflix or just an altruistic act by the online retail giant remains a mystery.
In a May 17 Q&A with Consumerist.com (which is owned by Consumer Reports), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked briefly about the service (among other topics) launched in February with 5,000 movies as a free add-on to Amazon’s $79 annual Prime loyalty membership program.
Bezos said Prime had reached substantial scale (since its 2004 launch) to the point that there needed to be additional incentives than simply offering members unlimited two-day free shipping.
“As people transition from buying DVDs to streaming movies and television shows, we wanted to provide some value for Amazon Prime members in that regard,” Bezos said, without directly answering whether Prime Instant Video is out to siphon off Netflix subscribers — many of whom also use Amazon.
Bezos said Amazon remained in discussions with studios and other content providers to increase content without elaborating.
“There are a bunch of things we are not ready to announce yet, but they are on the horizon in terms of adding content to [Prime] and so on,” he said.