How Amazon's New Video Service Stacks Up Against Netflix, Hulu

Amazon introduces a stand-alone video membership and a monthly Prime membership.

BySUSANNA KIM
April 18, 2016, 12:25 PM

— -- Amazon hopes to beat Netflix at its own game by offering a stand-alone video streaming service that's $1 cheaper per month.

Here's how Amazon's new service stacks up against video streaming options from Hulu and Netflix:

1. Amazon Prime

Amazon introduced two new options today for customers. The first is a $8.99 stand-alone Prime video membership, which provides access to Amazon's original content, such as the series "Transparent" and "Mozart in the Jungle." Customers can also access licensed movies and television shows, including "Downton Abbey," "The Good Wife," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Hunger Games" and more. It does not, however, include perks like free two-day shipping.

The second new option is a monthly Prime membership at $10.99 a month without an annual commitment. This is a variation of paying the typical $99 upfront for an annual Prime membership, which is still available. Either of those two options include video streaming and unlimited access to more than a million songs; unlimited free two-day shipping for eligible purchases; and unlimited photo storage.

Users of any Prime membership can pay a little more for a subscription with Showtime ($8.99 a month), Starz ($8.99 a month), or other options like the family-friendly Dove Channel at $4.99 a month.

2. Netflix

Netflix offers three monthly plans to customers.

The $7.99 basic plan allows you to watch on only one screen without high-definition quality video.

The $9.99 standard plan provides HD video and the ability to watch on two screens at the same time.

The $11.99 premium plan provides HD and Ultra HD video with the ability to watch on four screens at the same time.

Netflix also offers optional DVD or Blu-ray delivery plans that never have late fees. The cheapest plan costs $4.99 for one disc and a user can only request two DVD discs a month. The priciest plan is $14.99 for an "unlimited" number of discs per month.

3. Hulu

Hulu plans start at $7.99 for "modest amount of commercials," according to its website.

Hulu's plan that offers no commercials costs $11.99. When you sign up on an iOS device, or iPad and iPhone, and pay for your Hulu subscription with your iTunes account, there's an extra cost due to transaction fees with Apple. That comes to $13.99 a month.

Showtime cable network access is available to paying Hulu customers for an additional $8.99 a month (and it's always free of commercials).

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