retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Business Insider reports that that new numbers suggest that Amazon's video streaming service may be more popular that Netflix.

The story says:

"The research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) just released a study showing that people stream video content on Amazon as much as (or more than) on Netflix, thanks to Amazon's decision to offer both a subscription and single-pay service in the same place.

"Amazon's magic is that people who subscribe to Prime - the company's $99-a-year service that comes with two-day free shipping and the ability to stream thousands of free movies and TV shows - will also buy movies and shows from Amazon that are not listed as free."

The story goes on: "Netflix members view video 12.7 times per month, iTunes users buy or rent video 4.9 times per month, and Amazon Prime members view free Prime video 8.3 times per month.

"If Amazon offered only its subscription service, Netflix would still be the king of streaming video content. But it doesn't. If you factor in CIRP's finding that Prime users also buy or rent content from Amazon Instant Video 5.1 times per month, Prime members view video on Amazon 13.4 times per month — more than Netflix."

This is a great example of a private label battle, as two companies spend a ton of money on differentiated content as a way of finding a differential advantage.

What's also interesting is something else - the fact that a lot of people have both and use both ... it all depends on what they're looking for at that particular moment.

A lot of us also have, in addition to both Amazon and Netflix, on-demand services from our cable providers. In my case, I also have Apple TV. This past weekend, when we wanted to watch Boyhood at home, we had lots of options.

It's no wonder that Blockbuster and most of the independent video rental businesses have gone belly-up. It was, on Saturday night, an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: