Amazon Prime subscribers now get over 5000 instant video titles free

It was only a matter of time. Amazon's instant streaming video service launched today after months of speculation and rumor-mongering.

Amazon Prime subscribers (non-paying Amazon aficionados are in the lurch unless they opt to shell out $79/year) can pick from over 5,000 films and TV shows to stream to their PCs, Macs and applicable TVs. This is in stark contrast to Amazon's earlier video service, Amazon Instant Video, which lets viewers buy or rent from a massive list of over 90,000 (or so it claims) movies and shows.

Amazon Prime Veep Robbie Schwietzer said, "Adding unlimited instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost is a great way to give members even more value for their $79 annual Amazon Prime membership."

The roster pales in comparison to that of chief competitor Netflix, which boasts over 50,000 streaming titles and has its hooks in over 20 million users. That service is also readily available on all modern home gaming consoles - the Wii, Xbox360 and PlayStation 3. The combined global sales of the three systems is estimated at well over 100 million.

In comparison, only the Xbox360 supports Amazon Instant Video. Sony has yet to reply to a question regarding the possibility of bringing that service, and in turn this new application, to the PlayStation 3. This post will be updated if the company provides a substantive response.

Is the service worth it? CrunchGear ran the math and discovered the Amazon Prime service runs a little less per month when compared to Netflix. It's doubtful that will sway people already entrenched with the veteran video streamer, but it might sway non-Netflix users and VOD newbies. And of course, previous Amazon Prime subs who are getting the new service at no added cost.

Are you streaming videos via Amazon Prime right now? Let us know what you think of the service so far in the comments.

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