Amazon Instant Video Facts

In the wake of the amazing success enjoyed by Netflix, Amazon began to build their own instant video library. Modern technology has given unprecedented capacity for sharing video online, making many of the traditional video rental and cable TV models all but obsolete. Instead, services such as Amazon Instant Video offer hundreds of thousands of movies, TV shows and more at the click of a button. Amazon offers a few different options to suit the varying needs of instant video watchers, each with a different pricing structure to offer you the best deal for your viewing habits.

Different ways to watch

Amazon offers instant video options in two different on-demand formats, both pay-per-view or "renting" and purchasing. In addition, they offer a subscription-based rental via their Amazon Prime membership, which comes with a number of benefits throughout the site.

The cost of Amazon Instant Video

Pricing varies depending on how you'd like to watch your Amazon Instant Video. For an Amazon Prime membership, you'll pay less than $10 per month on a yearly payment plan, which allows you to see most of Amazon's video library for free on an on-demand basis. Prime provides additional benefits in Kindle book lending, free expedited shipping and special pricing on many of the items in Amazon's vast catalog. If you choose to pay each time you watch a video, expect to pay anywhere from $.99 up to an average of about $4.99 for each one-time rental. For repeat viewing, you may purchase the digital version of the video for about 40%-50% more than the rental price on most videos.

How to use Amazon Instant Video

To get started using Amazon Instant Video, you may either sign up for the Amazon Prime one-month trial membership, or just start searching the video library. The membership allows you to search for videos and add them to your queue, where they are conveniently at hand when you are ready to watch. Otherwise, simply click the "watch instantly" option on any video you'd like to see, specifying whether you wish to rent or buy it. Streaming video will begin as soon as you have paid for your order.

The Amazon Instant Video library

Amazon built its reputation on having a limitless inventory. Originally, the company strove to offer more books and movies than any other in the world, but has since expanded its offerings to almost any conceivable consumer item. Their video library follows suit, as it constantly expands to include every type of video they can possibly offer. Currently, this selection includes TV shows, movies in HD and standard formats, and even user-generated content. This video library has expanded quickly, and the intention seems to be to continue building in an effort to compete with-and possibly stay ahead of-other instant video giants that in turn have made the physical video store all but obsolete.

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