×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Launches Prime Video Standalone Option for $9 Monthly

Amazon is gunning for Netflix more aggressively with a new pricing scheme.

The e-commerce giant is now offering its video-streaming service in the U.S. independent of the Prime free-shipping program. Purchased separately, Prime Video will cost $8.99 per month — one dollar less than Netflix’s most popular plan.

Since Amazon launched its subscription video service five years ago, it has been available only through the Prime membership program, which currently costs $99 per year. The company has used video as a key benefit to lure more customers to Prime, but Amazon sees a ripe opportunity to sell an SVOD service priced directly to compete with Netflix as well as Hulu.

The move comes just as Netflix, the No. 1 subscription VOD player, is set to raise rates for subscribers who are currently paying $7.99 per month for the two-stream HD service to $9.99 in May. Amazon Prime Video allows up to three concurrent streams per account and offers select titles in 4K Ultra HD and HDR formats. Hulu, meanwhile, sells a $7.99-per-month service with ads and an $11.99 option without commercials.

In addition, Amazon is offering a new payment option for full Prime membership of $10.99 monthly, with no annual commitment. That’s 33% more than than the $99 annual Prime membership, but Amazon said many customers have been asking for month-to-month flexibility with the program.

The new options will begin showing up for Amazon users starting Sunday evening at amazon.com/prime, with all U.S. users scheduled to have access to them by Monday morning. The new monthly pricing options for Prime and Prime Video are available only in the U.S.; each of the plans offers a 30-day free trial.

Prime includes unlimited free shipping on millions of products; Prime Video, which includes tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies, including original series and films; unlimited access to more than a million songs with Prime Music; unlimited secure photo storage; and other benefits.

Like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon has been investing in exclusive original content as well as striking exclusive licensing pacts. Amazon Studios original series include “Transparent,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Catastrophe,” “Bosch,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Red Oaks” and “Hand of God.”

This year, Prime Video also will launch Woody Allen’s first-ever TV series, plus David E. Kelley’s new series starring Billy Bob Thorten, as well as the third seasons of “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle” and kids’ series including “Tumble Leaf,” “Thunderbirds are Go” and an “American Girls” live-action special.

Licensed TV shows on Prime Video include “Downton Abbey,” “The Good Wife,” “Doctor Who,” “Vikings,” “The Americans,” “Orphan Black,” “Suits,” and older HBO programming including “Boardwalk Empire” and “Veep,” as well as movies including “The Hunger Games,” “Interstellar” and “Ex Machina.”

In addition, any of the Prime membership options also provide access to add-on subscriptions from Showtime, Starz and other video services.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Will Arnett

    Quibi Picks Up Animated Daily Horoscope Series From Will Arnett and ATTN:

    When Quibi launches next spring, it will have a daily adult-animation horoscope show from Will Arnett and digital media company ATTN:, starring 12 colorful animals representing the different signs of the zodiac. “Your Daily Horoscope” is part of the mobile TV service’s Daily Essentials news and lifestyle programming. The show was created by ATTN: and [...]

  • Motiv: Max ConzeFoto: © ProSiebenSat.1/Martin SaumweberDieses

    ProSiebenSat.1 Boss Max Conze Unfazed By the Invasion of the Digital Streaming Giants

    Max Conze, CEO of German broadcast company ProSiebenSat.1 since June last year, appeared relatively relaxed about the prospect of the coming invasion of new subscription streaming players like Disney Plus into his territory when speaking to journalists at TV market and conference Mipcom in Cannes Tuesday. “Disney will not lock away all their content,” he [...]

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Q3 Preview: The Calm Before the Streaming-Wars Storm?

    Wall Street is expecting Netflix to hit or slightly beat subscriber and financial targets when it reports third quarter 2019 results on Wednesday after market close. But then what? Debate among analysts continues to rage about what will happen to Netflix’s market-leading position once it’s facing big new rivals in Disney Plus and Apple TV [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • daydream view

    Google Ships Pixel 4 Without Daydream VR Support, Stops Selling Daydream Viewer

    Google is effectively phasing out its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform: The company’s latest flagship Pixel 4 flagship phone, which Google unveiled at a press event in New York Tuesday, won’t support Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform anymore, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety. The company will also stop selling the Daydream viewer, but continue to [...]

  • Google Wifi

    The New Google Wifi Ships in Three Colors Because Good-Looking Routers Work Better

    When Google revamped its Wifi router product, it extended the devices reach and doubled their speed, while also adding a full-blown smart speaker with Google Assistant. But the company paid just as much attention to Google Wifi’s design, down to the decision to ship the product in three colors. The surprising reason for this: Google [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content