Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Ahead of Tablet Launch, Amazon Boasts About Its Digital Video Library

Amazon says that recently announced deals with CBS and NBC Universal have pushed up its library of digital movies it rents and sells to 100,000 titles, up from 90,000.

But let’s be very clear about this: The “Amazon Instant Video” service referenced above is the equivalent of the one that outlets like Apple’s iTunes offers. It’s not the equivalent of the subscription streaming service that Netflix offers.

Amazon does have a Netflix-like offering, which it gives free to customers who are paying for or trying out its Prime shipping service. That catalog is now at 9,000 titles, or about half of what Netflix offers to its digital subscribers.

The distinctions are a bit confusing, and Amazon could make them clearer, but perhaps it has a reason for keeping it that way. It’s also possible that Amazon will try to make some significant changes before it rolls out its new tablet device, slated for October. But no need to mix apples and oranges and grapes just yet.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik