Putting it into more direct competition with services like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon on Monday introduced standalone Prime Video subscriptions in the U.S., as well as a monthly option for full-scale Prime service.

The Prime Video plan is available for $8.99 per month. This includes all shows and movies, as well as HD, UHD (4K), and HDR video quality options. The only drawback is that on an annual basis, the plan is actually more expensive than a regular Prime subscription, which costs $99 per year.

Prime Video is nevertheless cheaper than something like Netflix, which recently raised the price of its standard plan (with HD) to $9.99 per month for new users.

People who want access to the full benefits of Prime — including music, books, and improved shipping — can now choose to pay $10.99 per month. The amount is the same as Amazon began offering to Sprint customers in March.

The company actually tested the idea of a $7.99 monthly plan in 2012, but almost immediately stopped it for reasons unknown. At the time, a normal Prime plan was still just $79, making for an annual price gap of about $17. The new monthly rate creates a $33 gap, even with a higher regular Prime fee.

Separate Prime Video subscriptions are also available in the U.K., Germany, and Japan, but the U.S. is both Amazon’s home market and its largest.

from AppleInsider – Apple News and Rumors Since 1997 http://ift.tt/1Vx68Os