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Amazon to deliver video on demand service

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 17 July 2008

Online retail giant has announced the addition of video-on-demand (VOD) to its repertoire of services.  Soft-launched today in the United States, the new offering (unsurprisingly named Amazon Video on Demand) presents itself as an online store of movies and television shows that can be viewed using streaming technology - a process that allows for much faster access to rich media content than downloading to the user’s hard drive.

The switch from downloading to streaming is a step forward from Amazon’s previous video store, which required customers to download special software and worked only on Windows PCs and TiVo set-top boxes.  

The service includes a “Your Video Library” feature, whereby purchased content can be indefinitely re-accessed on Amazon through any internet-enabled device whatsoever.  This brings flexibility and saved storage space to the consumer, and effectively addresses piracy issues at the same time.

Amazon’s vice-president for digital media Bill Carr sees the ease of use for which the new platform was designed as a trigger for impulse buys, saying that, “Our goal is to create an immersive experience where people can’t help but get caught up in how exciting it is to simply watch a movie right from with a click of the button.”

Amazon has also announced that it has struck a deal with Sony Electronics whereby its VOD store will be made accessible on the Sony Bravia line of high-definition TVs.  This opens up a new shop window directly in the living room, suggesting ulterior opportunities for Amazon to make its products available for direct purchase through television advertising, a scenario Mr. Carr says “is certainly a possibility for the future”.

Amazon VOD is currently accessible on an invitation-only basis.  Its availability to a wider audience is announced for later this summer.

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