Amazon over the last 18months have transformed themselves from a slowly declining paper merchant to a new media behemoth.
It started with the gutsy introduction of Kindle. The iPad was just an idea swilling around in Steve Jobs’ head – a thought put there by Juan-Luc Picard – when the Kindle was introduced. We’d even speculate that the Kindle’s success gave Jobs the confidence to release his Star Trek inspired tablet.
With the introduction of it’s On-Demand streaming service, Amazon has pitched a new direction and their plan starts to become clear. Amazon has shifted from being an online – paper – book store, to being the ultimate - customizable – media service . Not just media either, but all parts of the media experience, if your prepared to rent, buy or try – Amazon has it, or has it planned for the near future. Core to this strategy is selling every part of that media equation, from space on their usable media servers - downloadable movies - eBooks - gadgets – consumables as well as hardware to consume all their new media, everything is a saleable product.
Amazons purchase of LOVEFiLM- Europes version of Netflix – was that last step, a very purposeful part of Amazons rebirth. Lovefilms, one of the up and coming video streaming services has recently confirmed Samsung will be including the service in upcoming TV’s and Blue Ray players. Samsung seems to be a common thread with the rebirth of Amazon. Recently Samsung purchased E-Ink color specialist company Liquavista, don’t be surprised when it’s announced the new color Kindle will use this display. Sony TV’s, PS3, Blue-Ray players and Media devices all now have LoveFilms included and newer devices such as Boxee, WD Live, Roku are working on it.
Cloudfront was Amazons original foray into video streaming. It allows the user to stream audio and video content that they have uploaded. It is Cloud based Video storage and streaming. This seems to be a technology tester built by Amazon, the test must have worked as the ViedoOnDemand service will use the server system developed here.
The video on demand – VOD – service Amazon has put together looks very impressive. You will have the options to store your purchases in ‘Your Video Library’ storage area, ensuring that you wont loose accesss to content already paid for. This can be an issue with some early video on demand services, formatting your media PC would clear your purchases, – think iTunes -. The service is similar in function to Steam but for video instead of games. There is also the ability to stream from you account to smartphones, time for Video on the Go.
Intially Amazon will offer unlimited streaming for their high end Prime account, flat rate $79 per year. There will also be the option to simply pay as you go, with specials being one of Amazons favourite marketing ploys you can bank on them to.
The only question left is will there be any demand ?
So keep an eye out for everything Amazon, if Apple or Netflix drops the ball you can bet they are ready to step up.
Buddha’s Brother out…