Watch out, Netflix. Amazon is offering monthly video subscriptions now too.
Amazon’s wildly popular Amazon Prime just went monthly, a move that pits the service in direct competition to streaming video rivals Netflix and Hulu.
Now customers have the option to sign on to a standalone version of Amazon’s streaming video service for $8.99 a month. They can also sign up for full Amazon Prime by the month, a service that offers streaming movies and shows plus perks like faster shipping rates, music, e-books, and other benefits for $10.99 a month. The new service options went live on Amazon late Sunday, The New York Times reports.
Annual prime membership, at $99 a year, is still a better deal for customers, who would save about $9 over the new monthly streaming video plan, or $33 versus a year of the monthly Prime subscriptions.
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With an estimated 54 million U.S. members, Amazon Prime already beats out Netflix when it comes to its subscribers: Netflix has about 45 million eyeballs tuned in to its content across the country.
The new month-to-month subscriptions are just one way Amazon is expanding its subscription offerings, hoping to lure more customers onto its site. Last month, the company partnered with Comcast (CMCSA) to offer cable, Internet, and phone subscriptions via the Amazon Cable Store. Amazon has also been growing its investments in movies, nabbing a string of film rights recently, including Woody Allen’s next rom-com, for a reported $20 million.
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Amazon’s (AMZN) monthly video-watching move comes just as Netflix (NFLX) prepares its own price hike: In May Netflix will up its standard monthly rates to $9.99 for everyone, which is a buck more than Amazon’s new streaming-only deal.
Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that $9.99 is the price for a standard Netflix subscription, without ultra HD.