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I’ve noticed a distinct uptick lately in friends who have had it with Netflix and are looking to jump that ship. And now that Motley Fool is saying Netflix has been operating at a loss ever since they split their streaming business from their disc business and will have to raise prices soon, many more people will be shopping for a new streaming service soon.
I quit Netflix a few years ago and applied my monthly Netflix subscription fee to an Amazon Prime membership, which includes a subscription to the Amazon Prime Instant Video catalog, and I’ve never regretted it. Here’s why:
1. At $79 a year (as of this writing), Amazon Prime costs less per year than a Netflix subscription.
2. In addition to granting subscribers unlimited streaming access to the Amazon Prime Instant Video catalog, a Prime membership comes with free, two-day shipping on all Amazon orders “fulfilled by Amazon”. In the three years I’ve been a Prime member I’ve rarely had to pay for shipping, regardless of whether I was ordering coffee pods, toys, a new printer, or even just a hard copy book. Amazon Prime Shipping is an available option for almost every type of product you can buy on Amazon, and they even allow you to check an “Amazon Prime” box in your search results to limit the list to items covered by Prime Shipping.
My Amazon Prime membership pays for itself each year based on this feature ALONE, and the convenience factor of being able to mail-order everything from puppy training pads to cleaning supplies with guaranteed two-day delivery with no shipping costs can hardly be overstated.
3. Amazon Prime Instant Videos are part of the “Amazon Ecosystem”, which means they’re set up for seamless viewing on Amazon Kindle Fire devices, but they can also be streamed through a browser window on a computer, to television sets directly (if the set is internet-enabled) or to television sets via an internet-enabled disc player or DVR, a gaming console, or a streaming box or stick.
I use a Roku streaming box I got on sale for $50, and I’m intending to replace it with Amazon’s own branded streaming box when it comes out (predicted release within the next couple of months) because it will probably have some Amazon Instant Video -specific features not currently available on any other streaming box. Click here to see all the different devices capable of streaming Amazon Instant Videos.
4. Prime Members have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which includes many bestselling books and newer books from bestselling authors. Prime members can “borrow” one book at a time from the Library, and with few exceptions there’s no limit on how long the book can be “checked out”. The “few exceptions” would be rare cases where the publisher pulls the book from sale for some reason.
5. Prime members also get to choose one “Kindle First” book to download and KEEP every month. This is a new benefit that was rolled out just three months ago. “Kindle First” books are books publishers have elected to publish exclusively in Kindle format for a limited time before releasing the book in other formats. Amazon’s editors select four and notify Prime members of them at the start of each month via email. Prime members can download one of the four books for free.
6. While it’s pretty well-known that Netflix has Amazon Prime beat when it comes to availability of American-made television series for adults (whereas Amazon Prime has Netflix beat in the kids’ TV programming area with its Nickelodeon licensing deal and also far exceeds Netflix in available BBC programming), in my experience Amazon Prime has the better selection of movies and is adding more all the time.
If you still need more convincing, why not take Amazon Prime for a free, 30-day trial spin? During your trial you’ll get access to unlimited streaming from the Prime Instant Video catalog, all the free Prime shipping you can use in 30 days, and temporary access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library too.
I’ve been a Prime member for over three years, and I LOVE it!
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