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Last month there was chatter that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) would launch a new streaming option for paid Prime customers. Amazon Prime is a shipping upgrade service that offers free 2-day shipping on items sold on Amazon and $3.99 for overnight shipping.
Today Amazon has taken over their homepage (similar to their Kindle launches) to promote a new feature of the Amazon Prime program. No longer just a shipping service, you can now stream 5,000 movies and television shows for free. I’ve scanned the available free streaming selection and found that while there aren’t any true new releases, there is plenty to watch.
Amazon notes that you can stream the movies and TV shows to your computer or to Internet-connected devices including blu-ray players and Internet-connected televisions.
On the television side you can watch a variety of series including:
- The Legend of Zelda: The Complete Animated Series
- Big Cat Diary Series 1
- All of the seasons of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood!!
- Unfortunately Silver Spoons, Transformers, Facts of Life, Diff’rent Strokes, and the A-Team are not included
On the movies side, you can watch Steven Seagal’s Hard to Kill but you have to pay to watch Above the Law.
I don’t think today’s announcement and launch by Amazon will affect RedBox and Blockbuster Express but it does target Netflix’s streaming service.
It does appear this new free streaming option is only available for paid Prime customers – so if you are on the free Mom or Student programs, you are out of luck. You can signup for a free trial of Amazon Prime and the free trial does include the streaming option.
I am no longer on Amazon Mom but with this new streaming option, I am seriously considering purchasing an Amazon Prime subscription.
I’ve written before about “live” at conferences and why I prefer that speakers, panelists and attendees focus on the room and the learnings rather than spending time posting on social networks during a session.
There is one type of conference that should always be streamed live…the infomercial conference. This type of conference includes DEMO and Techcrunch50. What I mean by “infomercial conference” is that the event is setup for startups to present their products and services in an infomercial format.
Last year (and in previous years) both DEMO and Techcrunch50 were streamed live. I believe TC used Ustream and DEMO used Bitgravity for the streaming. If I remember, both streams worked very well and both acted as great promotions for the streaming providers. Yet this year at DEMO, there is no live streaming of the presentations. The presentations are available the following day — i.e. yesterday’s presentations are available now.
Yesterday we took a look at how Kodak is welcoming in the new year using their video wall in Times Square. If you aren’t planning on going out into the snow tonight or are located in another city, you can still watch the ball drop to 2010 tonight in Times Square.
Hulu and Livestream have you covered with New Year’s related content from around the U.S. Hulu notes, “from approximately 10 p.m. EST to 12:15 a.m. EST, we’ll be hosting a live stream direct from Times Square as the crowd counts down to the ball drop at midnight.” It looks like Hulu will provide the same coverage they did for the welcome to 2009.
Livestream will show a variety of programming beginning at 6pm Eastern tonight from around the country. They note that you can even watch the “littlest ball drop” which is located in Aggieville, Kansas. Livestream’s coverage is also available on the iPhone.
How will you ring in 2010? Leave your geeky or non-geeky suggestions in the comments.