Amazon launches TV and movie streaming service

According to The New York Times, Amazon is set to launch a TV and movie online store called Amazon Video on Demand. As the name implies, the service will stream video content to customers, allowing them to start watching a show or movie as soon as they have ordered it. Unlike Amazon’s Unbox service, no special software will be required.

Some 40,000 movies and television shows will be offered. Not surprisingly though, Walt Disney and ABC (also owned by Disney) will not offer their content on this iTunes rival service. Rather than downloading the movie to the customer’s hard drive, customer purchases will be stored on the Amazon site on a private page called Your Video Library. Customers will then have access to this library from any computer. The solution addresses many studio concerns about privacy (for how long, I wonder).

Amazon has also struck a deal with Sony whereby a link to the service will be available on the Sony Bravia Internet Video link device (used to stream Web content to Sony Bravia TVs). Future Bravia TVs should also have the link. Amazon is also pursuing similar deals with other TV and Internet device manufacturers.

For now, Amazon Video on Demand will launch in a limited fashion by being offered to a small number of invited customers. The service will then be expanded later in the summer.

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