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February 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Playing catch-up with Netflix, Amazon today (Wednesday) debuted a streaming video service that costs about $1.35 per month less than Netflix. To entice new subscribers, the online retailer is charging $79 per year, giving customers free one-month trial subscriptions, and a feature that allows the service to be shared by three family members. But Eric Wold, analyst with Merriman Capital, was unimpressed. Home Media Magazine quoted him as saying that while Amazon has the deep pockets to undercut Netflix’s pricing, the films and TV shows that will be available on its service fall into the “classic” category. Netflix has signed exclusive deals with some studios for relatively recent films. Said Wold: “Given that Netflix has a significant amount of exclusive streaming content [more than 11,500 titles], I think it will be tough for Amazon to do much damage except fight for second place.” That battle for second place is likely to be fought primarily against kiosk operator Redbox, which has also announced plans to launch a streaming service.