This seems a little too good to be true but rumor has it that Amazon may be getting into the unlimited video streaming game a la Netflix.
That in and of itself isn’t all that unbelievable, but there seems to be some indication that the unlimited streaming deal may be tied into Amazon’s expedited shipping program, called Amazon Prime according to screenshots sent to Engadget.
Amazon Prime members pay $79 per year for access to free two-day shipping or $4-per-item overnight shipping on any item that Amazon sells. I’ve been a subscriber for years now and—guess what?—I buy exponentially more items from Amazon than I used to thanks to the two-day shipping deal. The service pays for itself on my end pretty quickly and Amazon makes a lot more money from me than it otherwise would, so it’s a win-win all around.
The idea that Amazon would build in “unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost” to the Prime membership, according to the screenshots, would make an already valuable service unbelievably attractive to consumers.
I’d be really interested to know how much money per person Amazon could potentially lose on this kind of a deal. If somebody were to sign up for Prime just to get access to the unlimited streaming, Amazon could lose out.
But if the idea’s to get people to the site to watch videos and once they’re there, say, “Oh, hey, we also sell stuff here if you want to browse around and maybe make use of that free two-day shipping you paid for,” then Amazon eventually comes out ahead by offsetting video streaming royalties with sales of actual goods. Brilliant.
The streaming service would apparently have a catalog of 5,000 movies and TV shows and, from the looks of it, you’d only have access to standard-definition content. So it probably wouldn’t attract the kinds of people who are really getting their money’s worth out of the HD video streams from an $8-per-month Netflix subscription, but for everyone else—especially those of us who are already Prime members anyway—it’d be an incredible bonus.
More on TIME.com:
Amazon: Kindle Books Finally Eclipse Paperbacks
Netflix Tries to Go Social (Again)