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Amazon drives TV, movie sales via video streaming app

August 6, 2012

Amazon is letting consumers buy and stream their favorite television shows and movies on a new iPad application.

The Amazon Instant Video iPad app lets consumers download and stream videos from their handsets and sync them across multiple devices. The app also gives Amazon Prime members access to video content.

“Our customers tell us they want to be able to watch videos on all of their favorite devices,” said Cat Griffin, spokeswoman at Amazon, Seattle.

“Amazon Instant Video is currently compatible with hundreds of devices and we are focused on adding even more in the future,” she said. “An iPad app for Amazon Instant Video was one of the most popular requests from our customers, so we delivered.”

Mobile streaming
Consumers can download the Amazon Instant Video app for free from Apple’s App Store. In order to access the app, users must have an Amazon account.

The app claims to have more than 120,000 Instant videos and 20,000 Prime Instant Videos available.

Inside the app consumers can browse by genre and can toggle between TV and movie content.

The Amazon Instant Video app

Additionally, the Your Watchlist feature lets consumers make lists of content that they want to watch.

The app syncs between a consumer’s desktop and mobile experience to let users watch and store video content across multiple screens.

Consumers can then either rent or purchase content similarly to how they would online.

In the cloud
Amazon has aggressively been pushing its content to a cloud-based model.

Besides video, Amazon also recently expanded its music services with the Cloud Player app that lets users save and listen to music across their desktops, smartphones and tablets (see story).

Amazon is also aggressively going after digital publishing with its Kindle Fire device that is positioned as a mix between a tablet and an ereader. Consumers can buy books from Amazon’s store and transfer them to multiple devices, including Barnes & Noble’s Nook and iOS devices.

The Department of Justice is also reportedly suing Apple for working with book publishers to raise ebook prices. If the suit plays out, Amazon could be positioned as the prime player in the ebook space (see story).

By letting users download and save their favorite music, books and TV shows across multiple devices, Amazon is showing that it is a force to be reckoned with in the space with competitors such as Apple and Google.

Consumers increasingly want to be able to not only store content on multiple devices but also pick-up where they left off with content while on the go.

The app also puts Amazon in closer competition to Hulu and Netflix, which also offer subscriptions to consumers to let them watch content across multiple screens.

“The tablet and reader market are the next version of mobile that cannot be ignored, as the tablet and mobile market evolve, the consumer base that are using these mediums for commerce is growing larger globally,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“Retailers and brands need to recognize that if they haven’t as yet moved into a mobile strategy, they are quickly losing an edge that needs to include not only mobile but the tablet and readers as well,” she said.

“Amazon utilizing the “buy once, enjoy everywhere” for movies and TV is brilliant, and they continue to be ahead of the curve on mobile and wireless.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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