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Amazon Prime announced today that they  have added 3000 more titles to their streaming Amazon Prime free library,   They made a deal with Discovery Network to bring shows from Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Science to Amazon Prime’s streaming library.

Some of the shows available will include “Deadliest Catch,Mythbusters, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Gold Rush: Alaska, andShark Week, TLC series like Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss, as well as content like How It’s Made from Science, and The Jeff Corwin Experience from Animal Planet.”  Yes, LA InK is included, too.

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Categories : Amazon, streaming video, TV
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Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...

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Netflix sent out an announcement today that first apologized for the way they handled the announcement of the price hikes that started this month, and then in the next breath majorly screwing the pooch again!  They announced the launch of Qwikster, their new DVD division.  Apparently, Netflix is tired of providing their customers with a streamlined service and website where they can select movies to either stream or order on DVD and manage both queues in the same place. Instead, they are now going to split their DVD and streaming services into two completely separate entities, with different names and different websites.  That means two accounts, two charges on your credit card, if you subscribe to both services, and too many things to manage.  For people who only stream or only get the DVDs, the change isn't a big deal. Since many people dropped one or the other option with the new price hikes, they will now still only have one account to worry about. For those who are still using both services, like me, it's going to be a big hassle. 

Typically, I mostly stream my movies and things from Netflix..quite a lot, actually. I'm sort of addicted, and I'm not ashamed of it. I do, however, like to order movies on DVD as well, even though they may sit there for two weeks before I watch them and send them back. Now with this split, for me to keep that 1 or 2 DVDs I manage to watch every month I have to have another account, pay two separate charges, and go to a different website to order said DVD. Too much of a hassle for me! With Netflix's current service, if you want to watch a movie or a show you can search for it on one website, and stream it right then or put the DVD in your queue and you're good to go. Now, if you search the Netflix site and it's not available streaming, you have to go log in to Qwikster, search again and then add it. Why, no, that's not a major pain in the a** at all! Thank you, Netflix!

I had planned to keep both my DVD and streaming services, but now I think the DVD account will be canceled, and it will just be streaming for me. Of course, with the loss of Starz movies, a lot of my streaming choices will be quite diminished.  There's that to consider, too. 

For people like me, it's still worth keeping Netflix for their streaming service only, because I love it so. Unfortunately, for a whole big bunch of Netflix's subscribers, this is most likely going to be the thing that pushes them over the edge and into choosing to just go with Amazon Prime for streaming and maybe Blockbuster and Redbox for DVDs. I also predict Hulu will be seeing another huge spike in new subscribers very soon!  Why pay $7.99 a month for 1 or 2 DVDs when you can get them cheaper some place else, without having to have another account to manage. 

It's really sad, because Netflix was pretty awesome for quite a while, but it seems they just keep getting worse and worse. I don't know whose idea it was to make this move, but they must be off their meds. 

 

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Categories : Amazon, Hulu, Movies, Netflix, TV
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May
15

YouTube Videos ..Should Netflix Worry?

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A couple of weeks ago, YouTube announced it would be adding 3000 videos to the site available to rent.  YouTube has offered videos for quite a while, that’s nothing new.  In addition to the huge number of videos available to watch within the YouTube community itself, YouTube has offered full-length movies to rent for the past year.  Now, in collaboration with a number of studios, including Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Lionsgate they will begin to add a lot more content, and a lot of current new releases of first-run films. Fox is possibly inline to sign on as well. This is great news for the seriously impatient among us who need to see all the latest new releases the second they hit the streets. Though I think they are more a threat to services like RedBox and the already ailing video stores, like Blockbuster. Why get dressed and go rent a video from a box that you have to bring back when you can now turn to YouTube and just rent it from there?

 

On the other hand, YouTube isn’t offering anything that Amazon hasn’t been offering for quite a while now with it’s Instant Videos service. Amazon also offers TV shows current and past by the episode or by the season..so, I don’t think YouTube’s jumping on the bandwagon with movie offerings is really any thing to go all gooey over.

I would like to mention here that YouTube has been very, very gung-ho on the whole Copyright violation thing of late. Never mind that a huge percentage of their user content consists of videos with either copyrighted songs or clips of shows or movies or other things that could probably be considered copyright violations. Lots of videos are being pulled and their publisher’s getting DCMA love notes from YouTube.  Maybe they are just trying to clean up their act, avoid problems and lawsuits, and make nice with their new studio friends.  Then again, maybe they have an underlying agenda of trying to stop people from offering for free what they are now trying to get them to pay to watch through their rental service..hmmmm..::rubs chin in contemplation:::.  Not that stopping copyright violation isn’t a good thing, but being overzealous and clamping down even on things that are probably within the Fair Use boundaries is probably gonna do more harm than good.  But that’s a topic for another post.

The question here is will YouTube’s throwing their hat into the movie rental arena with new first-run movies, in contrast to Netflix’s 28-day waiting period and lack of streaming availability of most new releases, hurt Netflix’s bottom line?  This is just my opinion, and I’m not a business guru by any means. I don’t study the market share statics and all that data.  Personally, I don’t think Netflix has much to worry about from YouTube offering new movies.  Since Netflix doesn’t offer the newer videos, and their customers know this and yet signed up anyway, I don’t see people who are now paying $8 or $10 or even $15 per month to watch unlimited streaming movies and TV shows, documentaries, and all the other wonders Netflix has to offer, in addition to the many thousands of DVD only offerings, being swayed to jump ship and go spend 2.99 or 3.99 per movie. They may supplement with a rental here and there, but abandoning Netflix?  Nah, I’m not thinkin’ that’s gonna happen. YouTube would have to seriously step up their game.  While they do offer new release movies, a lot of the movies they are trying to charge 2.99 a pop for, you can already watch 24/7 with your Netflix subscription. Now,if the studios clamped down and Netflix’s offerings seriously decreased and their prices had a major hike..maybe we’d have a ballgame.

I don’t really see them putting a huge dent in Amazon’s rental business either, since Amazon also offers some free streaming movies, much more recent than YouTube’s free offerings, and Amazon Prime customers get unlimited free streaming.  It is a good move for YouTube though, they have a huge user base, and it’s a value-added service for those already spending large chunks of time on YouTube to be able to rent a movie if they choose.  If Google was smart, they might look into taking some of their hugely successful YouTube stars, like Shay Carl, Shane Dawson, IJustine, etc, and looking into some star vehicles for them to feature in.

I love YouTube, don’t get me wrong, and I do want to give YouTube props for one kinda cool thing about their free offerings. They are a goldmine for people who love really old movies and B-movies.  I had a look and, although they do have a very limited selection of newer old movies, like Ghostbusters, Dick, Supersize Me, Deuce Bigelow European Gigolo, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, to name a few, the largest part of their library is old classics.  If you are a lover of Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne..just to name a few, you should go check out YouTube’s free movie section. I’m gonna watch this one later!  and then maybe this one!  They also have a pretty impressive documentary section that is worth checking out.

 

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Apr
03

Amazon Prime Kinda Rocks..

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I got a visit from my friendly neighborhood UPS delivery girl today..she brought me my copy of Disney's Tangled! YAY. It was released today and I pre-ordered it through Amazon using my free 2-day delivery through Amazon Prime, and it arrived today, on the actual day of release.  I've pre-ordered DVDs through Amazon before with regular delivery and gotten them a few days after release. Not a big deal, except delivery wasn't always free, unless I bought other stuff that made the order qualify for free shipping at the same time, and I could have gone to the store and picked up on the day it came out, but had to wait a few days because I ordered it.  That's really, not a huge problem, because I'm not the kind of person that must have everything *RIGHT NOW* but getting stuff delivered in 2 days without having to pay a whole bunch extra for it, really kinda rocks. Of course, I could look at it as it's not really free delivery, I just already prepaid for my upgraded delivery with my 79.00 a year Amazon Prime membership fee, and if I used regular delivery I would have only had to probably wait a day or 2 more and it would probably have been actually free, but I think it works out in my favor.

Previously, when I'd order something from Amazon (which I do quite frequently), I would usually have free shipping because the majority of my orders total more than the 25.00 minimum you have to spend to get free delivery. Since Amazon's delivery is pretty fast, I've rarely had to wait more than 3 or 4 days, and sometimes its quicker, I never thought that it was worth it to pay for Amazon Prime. But now I see that getting your stuff in 2 days instead of 3 or 4 is kinda awesome, especially if I'm buying something I really need kinda quickly. I look at it as sort of a really cool bonus, since I actually finally decided to take the plunge and join as a Prime member when they released the free streaming video. Now, I get to watch free streaming movies from Amazon, and I get to have all my goodies and gadgets delivered super-fast. I'm a happy, happy girl! The bonus to all this is I actually got it cheaper than I would have if I had gone and picked it up at Walmart with Amazon's low price guarantee. When I preordered it, it was 16.99 (or maybe is was 16.95..can't remember) but at the time of shipping the price was lowered to 14.99, so I got it for the lowered price. I would have paid from 16.99 to 24.99 at Walmart, that's usually the price range for the first few days or so after release of a new DVD. I got it just the way I like stuff.. fast and cheap.

 

note: I actually wrote this post a few days ago, when the DVD was delivered, but put it in drafts and forgot to publish, so delivery was actually a few days ago..file this under “blonde moment”  LOL

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