Whoa, this came out of left-field. Amazon just announced that its Video on demand service will be serving up $.99 ABC and Fox rentals just like Apple wait, no, these are $.99 per episode — like you actually own the content rather than just having a short window to watch. Plus, it’s not just limited to one platform as Amazon Video on demand is widely available a bunch of products. This could be huge and might take some sales away from the new Apple TV.
Steve touted the new $.99 rentals as one of the main features of the Apple TV and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a relatively cheap and easy way to watch a few TV shows. It almost makes sense if you’re not a big TV watch to opt for the pay-per-view scheme rather than a pricey cable subscription — 22 episodes in a season = $22. However, it could get expensive, too.
Amazon’s solution, however, is just about the same thing but users are actually buying the videos for $.99 rather than renting them. The best part is that you may already have the capability as Amazon Video on demand is found in dozens of HDTVs from Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic, set top boxes like TiVo, and yes, even the Roku. I’m still seeing a $2.99 price via my TiVo HD, but that will likely drop to the new price before too long.
Of course the Apple TV brings other features to the table that avid Apple users will no doubt enjoy, but this move from Amazon should make some consumer look closely at their current equipment before dropping $99 on the new streamer. I count three devices in my house with Amazon Video on demand.