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New Amazon Instant Video Service Allows Prime Members Free Access to Movies They'd Never Pay to See

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 22, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 22, 2011 | announced this morning that it was kicking off its Netflix Instant competitor, Amazon Video, which is now available free to Amazon Prime members. The bad news for Amazon Prime members? The selection of 5000 movies and television shows is anemic. The good news? You still get 2-day shipping for free, and one-day shipping for $3.99. Unfortunately, after browsing through a couple thousand of the Amazon Video titles, these ten — based on recency, relevancy, and quality — were the best Amazon Video currently has to offer.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
Half Nelson
Old Boy
Let the Right One In
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Best in Show
Mysterious Skin
Man on a Wire

As for big blockbuster movies from the last five years? Forget about it. Essentially, Amazon’s Video Service gives you 4,980 titles that you’d probably never pay to see, anyway. Like City of Angels or Short Circuit or My Fellow Americans or New Jack City. Ninety-five percent of the titles are probably already playing on cable somewhere, so it’s like having TBS On Demand. But if you’re looking for all of Jeff Dunham’s stand-up performances, Amazon Video has got you covered.

Still, as more people sign up, Amazon Video will obviously add more titles, but it’s going to need something more than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy to anchor its selection and recruit new members. Still, if you’re a frequent user of Amazon, the free two-day shipping is probably worth the annual $75 membership, anyway. But it’s certainly not worth the expense if Amazon Video is why you’re signing up.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.