Online retailer will offer 5,000 titles free for its Prime members
Get ready for streaming wars.
The company already offers an a la carte service with more than 90,000 films and television shows.
Prime members pay $79 a year. In addition to discounts on shipping and other products, they will now be able to stream some 5,000 movies and television shows. Among the offerings are catalogue titles such as "Amadeus" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," as well as older television shows such as "Doctor Who" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
In contrast, Netflix's streaming only service costs $7.99 a month, although for tiered amounts, customers can access both the company's streaming and mail services.
Many of the titles are the same ones that Netflix offers its customers via streaming, although the subscription giant has more than triple the number of movies and shows thanks to content deals with the major studios and cable channels such as Epix. The exact number of titles available for streaming on Netflix remains a tightly guarded secret.
Of course, neither announcement seemed to galvanize Wall Street. Shares of Amazon dipped 3 percent on Tuesday, while Netflix's stock fell six percent.
Amazon has been criticized in the past for following Netflix's lead and ceding the digitial space to the subscription rental service. On Tuesday, it succeeded in stealing some of Netflix's thunder.