Amazon.com’s Instant Video catalog has surpassed 100,000 movies and TV shows, more than 9,000 of them available at no additional charge to members of the company’s Amazon Prime service, the company said this morning.
That’s up from 90,000 titles overall, including 5,000 available free to Amazon Prime members, as of February of this year.
The new numbers come as Netflix faces a backlash from its subscribers over the price hikes recently announced by the company through the separation of its DVD-by-mail and online streaming services. But based on recent comments from Netflix executives, Amazon still has a long way to go to pose a serious challenge to Netflix’s streaming business.
“We have vastly more streaming content, are available on more streaming devices and are purely focused on subscription video streaming. So far, we haven’t detected an impact on our business from Amazon Prime,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells in a July 25 letter to shareholders.
At $7.99 per month, Netflix streaming runs about $96 per year.
Amazon’s Instant Video streaming service charges $1.99 to buy a new release TV show, and $3.99 to rent a new release movie for 24 hours. An Amazon Prime subscription, which includes other benefits such as free shipping from items purchased from Amazon.com, runs $79 a year. The titles available to Prime members to stream at no additional charge include many older movies and TV shows.
Apart from the Netflix competition, Amazon’s move to bulk up the Instant Video catalog is interesting in light of the company’s reported plans to offer its own tablet computers as soon as this fall, to compete with the iPad. Instant Video would be a logical application for Amazon to include on its tablets.