Amazon is seeking to attract new users to its on-demand streaming service Prime Video by offering a monthly subscription service seen as a direct competitor to Netflix.
Amazon has announced a shake-up of its Prime payment options, with those seeking to sign up for the package of services — which cost $99 annually — now able to do so by paying $10.99 a month, while those looking to access the Prime Video service only will pay $8.99 a month.
Amazon Prime launched over a decade ago as a membership scheme which offered free two-day delivery for an annual fee of $99 a year. Over the years, Amazon added a range of new benefits for Prime subscribers, including video and music streaming.
Over the last 12 months, Amazon has boosted its investment in its video streaming service Prime Video, with original series like "Mozart in the Jungle" and "Transparent" winning industry awards. It has also funded a new Woody Allen film called "Cafe Society," which is due to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year. The company also paid a lot of money for five feature films at the recent Sundance Film Festival.
Amazon has never revealed exact figures about the number of people who have signed up for Amazon Prime membership but has said that it runs into the tens of millions, with some experts claiming that Prime members spend up to twice as much on the site as other users.
At $8.99, a monthly subscription to Prime Video is priced slightly more than the $7.99 basic Netflix monthly package which offers standard definition streaming and logging in from one device at a time. Netflix offers a HD package for $9.99 a month which also allows multiple log ins.
Netflix is due to report its latest earnings Monday.