The streaming video market has become rather crowded in the last couple of years with services like Hulu and YouTube, but the video service with the most potential is Amazon’s VOD service.
Amazon’s VOD (Video On Demand) service has been around for a while and has a huge library of tv shows and movies including some of the newest releases yet it has never gained much traction in a world dominated by Netflix. If Amazon hopes to really compete in this market, it needs to do more than advertise its service (which it doesn’t do a very good job at anyway). Amazon needs to through its weight behind the service and make sure that everybody is aware of it and it is accessible as possible. How can they make it accessible? Amazon needs more distribution deals with hardware manufactures.
Amazon currently has deals which allow its service to be accessed on Roku boxes, Panasonic Blu-ray players, TiVo DVRs and Sony Bravia TVs, but they have to do much better than that. Amazon needs to push for a deal with every TV manufacture instead of just Sony and their Bravia line. With many people upgrading to new and better TVs after the DTV transition to take advantage of the new HD content, there is a huge opportunity for Amazon if they work to put themselves on all internet connected TVs. Same thing with Blu-ray players, Blu-ray is starting to gain traction and Amazon needs to do its best to get on more than just Panasonic players if it wants to get in on the ground floor before the mass exodus from DVD to Blu-ray begins. As far as TiVo goes, that is a great move for them but they should also work towards being on the DVRs offered by cable and satellite providers.
Amazon has the huge opportunity to grab a huge chunk of the streaming video market if they are willing to do what is necessary to put their service in front of as many people as possible. They have started moving in this direction, but so as Netflix and others, so if they want to put themselves in a dominant position, they must act now!
Finally, I think they need to go mobile with their video on demand service. Apps for the iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and such should be coming too. Many people like to watch videos on their phones, so if you have a way to stream videos to a phone, even if it is over wifi, you are ahead of the competition.
The competition in this space is in its very early stages and Amazon is on the position of either being left behind or taking the lead. The potential for profit is there, will they strike before its too late?