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Amazon offering Prime Instant Video subscriptions and monthly Prime plans

Freed from the annual plan, Prime Instant Video is now a proper Netflix competitor

Amazon’s annual Prime subscription is an all-in-one gateway to the retailer’s arsenal of perks, from free and speedy shipping to streaming music, video, and much more – but now the company is shaking things up a bit.

According to CNN Money, Amazon is about to throw live a standalone Prime Instant Video subscription plan that will sell for US$8.99 (about £6.35) per month, or one dollar less per month than Netflix charges monthly for new customers in the States (for the Standard plan). It’s the first time the Prime Instant Video plan has been offered separately from the rest of the Prime package.

Granted, Prime Instant Video generally isn’t considered to be as vast of an offering as Netflix, which is why it made more sense as a component of the larger Prime offering rather than a standalone service that could stand as an equal rival. But as Amazon’s catalog of original series grows in both reputation and size and high-profile film and TV acquisitions continue, the service begins to look a bit more appealing as a monthly subscription.

Also new is an option for a monthly Prime subscription, rather than paying for a full year in advance. CNN says that the monthly option, which includes Prime Video along with free two-day shipping and all other Prime features, will be available for US$10.99 (about £7.75) per month.

It’s still cheaper to pay for a full year: it’s US$99 (~£70) in the States, while paying monthly would add up to nearly US$132 annually. Even just paying for Prime Instant Video monthly would cost about US$108 per year, making the annual Prime subscription the best overall deal in all regards.

But for anyone who’d rather budget a little bit of money monthly rather than shell out a larger sum for a full year ahead, it could be a welcome addition. CNN claims the offers are going live right about now, although UK availability and pricing cannot be confirmed just yet. We’ll update the story if that info comes alongside the expected U.S. launch.

[Source: CNN Money]