Amazon announced today that they were expanding both the Instant Video Service and the Prime Instant Video in the UK and Germany.
They’re building upon and rebranding LoveFilm Instant, the video streaming service which Amazon owns in the UK. It’s now going to be called Amazon Instant Video, marking the first time that Amazon has offered this service outside of the US.
In addition to the free streaming, Amazon is also going to offer the paid Amazon Instant Video service to the UK and Germany, enabling customers to buy or rent individual titles.
Starting next Wednesday, Amazon Prime subscribers in Germany and Great Britain will have the option of streaming video as part of their Prime memberships. Amazon will be offering a catalog of 12,000 movies, TV shows, and other videos in Germany, and 15,000 titles in the UK.
The price of the service will be going up. It currently costs £49 or€29 in the UK/Germany, but new subscribers will be charged £79 and €49. Existing subscribers won’t have to pay until the next time they renew, which for some users might not be for another 10 months.
That’s a good deal for anyone who was both a Lovefilm Instant and a Prime subscriber already, but not such a deal if you don’t find the video catalog appealing. But on the plus side, Prime subscribers in the UK and Germany can finally make use of one of the more nifty features found on the new Kindle Fire tablets; they will be able to download the videos and watch them offline.
Along with the streaming video Prime subscribers also get access to reduced or free shipping (depending on the market) on certain items sold by Amazon as well as access to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, where readers can borrow a single ebook each month from a catalog over 475,000 titles.