With Netflix proving that a streaming video model can be a very successful one, it's been expected for some time that Amazon would join the market with its own instant streaming service. Today the book/video/grocery/everything e-tailer flicked the switch on Amazon Instant Video, and it's free - so long as you pay the yearly membership fee to be a Prime member.
As Engadget points out, existing paid Prime members (no love for free members such as students) now have access to around 5000 pieces of streaming content with both movies and TV shows included. Users still wishing to watch content for use on, say a mobile device, still have that option to either rent or buy it though that obviously incurs a fee.
So just how free is 'free'? Well you'll be needing the aforementioned Amazon Prime membership which will set you back $79 a year, though if you use Amazon as much as we do then the chances are you'll recoup that quick enough, considering Prime also gives you free 2-day shipping in the US.
The real downside here though is the fact this is only available to US customers. No streaming-goodness for international readers amongst you, which considering there is no Netflix either probably shouldn't be a surprise. Nevertheless, it still breaks our little hearts.
I guess we can't miss what we never had!