Rumors of Apple’s entrance into the video streaming arena have been swirling for a couple of years now, with Apple wanting to launch a skinny bundle streaming internet cable TV service, however news on the progress of this project has died down in 2016. It is unclear if it is still on the cards, various outlets reports talked had stalled with the television networks. However, Amazon and Netflix continue to battle it out.
Today, just as Netflix customers are forcibly moved to more expensive monthly plans, Amazon has announced it will offer its streaming video service as a standalone monthly subscription for the first time. Priced at $8.99/per month, the plan is a dollar cheaper than Netflix’s most popular offering. Until today, the only way to get Amazon Instant Video through a $99/year Amazon Prime subscription, bundling video, 2-day shipping and other perks into one membership.
Sadly, there was no word on the status of an Amazon Apple TV app …
The separation of these services firmly places Amazon’s video service against Netflix, with both companies now offering competitively-priced monthly plans for similar collections of content.
As well as the aggregated rivalry, cable networks have also begun offering their own subscriptions over the last year, including services like HBO Now. The cable network Starz launched its own $8.99 subscription last week, in sync with a new app for Apple TV.
With Amazon’s offering, the biggest holdout for Apple users continues to be the lack of Apple TV app. It was rumored that an Amazon Instant Video app for Apple TV was in the works since Apple’s new box launched late in 2015, but nothing has been released six months later.
In November, an Amazon customer representative said an Apple TV Amazon app would launch in a few weeks. Obviously, that never transpired. Famously, Amazon stopped selling the Apple TV from its store because it blocked access to Amazon content. Now that the fourth-gen Apple TV has an open App Store, Amazon has chosen not to offer its content on the platform.
In contrast, Netflix has had an app in the Apple TV App Store from day one and also supports advanced integrations like Siri and universal search. Amazon does at least offer an iOS app to access their content and obviously a web experience for Mac users.
Although the main repercussion of the new separate monthly deals will be to pit Amazon directly against Netflix in the streaming video arena, it also means that the Prime express delivery service will be available separately for $10.99/per month. Shoppers could opt-in to the service for busy shipping periods like Christmas and the holiday season, without committing to a full year of Prime.