Internet retail giant Amazon announced yesterday that its Amazon Prime Video streaming service will be available separately from Amazon Prime itself, for $9 per month, starting today. (Annual subscribers must be logged out to see the new offer page.) That's a dollar less than a monthly Netflix subscription.
Amazon also announced a month-to-month option for Prime, at $11 per month. Annual subscriptions are still available for $99 per year, with all the previous features, including the video streaming service.
Disable your Amazon Prime account at any time
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon added that a monthly Amazon Prime customer would be able to turn off their service at any time while keeping the account active. This would allow you to sign up for Amazon Prime and only use it during the holiday shopping season, for a fraction of the cost of the annual subscription.
How Amazon Prime Video's monthly deal compares to Netflix's
Netflix currently offers a larger slate of original content and plans to spend billions of dollars overall in 2016. Its content navigation system is arguably better, too. But Amazon is no slouch, taking home five Emmy awards last year for Transparent. And Amazon's price tag includes its 4K content, whereas Netflix asks $12 a month to bump up to this tier.
However, that Netflix tier lets you stream to up to four devices at once. Prime Video limits you to two streams of two different titles, and only one stream of the same title. (To put it another way, two people can't watch the same movie or TV show at the same time, on the same Prime Video account, unless they're watching on the same device.)
Calculating the costs
Sharp math people will note that $9 per month ends up costing more than an annual Amazon Prime subscription, never mind the $11 to get Amazon Prime on a monthly basis. But since you can turn the monthly version on and off at will, it may end up costing you less, depending on your viewing habits.
Meanwhile, starting in May, Netflix will charge $10 per month for the Standard tier. People previously subscribing at $8 or $9 will be bumped up to the new price. This gets you HD content and up to two simultaneous streams. Netflix has not historically offered a discount for an annual subscription.