Amazon has flipped the switch on its LoveFilm brand, officially renaming the service in the UK to Amazon Instant Video to match its US counterpart.
LoveFilm is the largest subscription service in the UK, rivaling Netflix, with more than 15,000 movies and TV episodes.
Amazon introduced its streaming box April 2, dubbed Fire TV, a direct competitor to Apple TV and Roku.
The box, which will retail for $99, will feature Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and more, as well as voice controls and an optional gaming controller.
More coverage in this week’s Zimedium Podcast.
Best Tech under $50
Google Chromecast $35
Roku LT $49
Blue Snowball Mic $49
Best Tech under $100
Apple TV $99
Netflix $95.88/year ($7.99/mo)
Amazon Prime $79/year
Best Tech under $150
Google Drive Storage $119/year 200GB ($9.99/mo)
Kindle Fire HD 7″ $139
Pebble Smartwatch $149
Bonus: Tech under $250
Samsung Chromebook $249
5 Tech Predictions for 2014
Welcome to the third-annual 5 Tech Predictions, where I analyze trends from the previous year (compiled on http://twitter.com/ericzimmett) and predict what will take shape within the next year. Centered around social media, streaming TV and technology.
5. Amazon Prime becomes No. 2 streaming service behind Netflix
Amazon, already a force in the UK with LoveFilm, will make some noise with Amazon Prime and look to challenge Netflix.
YouTube’s king for shortform video, Netflix for longform TV and Movies. But Amazon stakes claim at No. 2 in 2014 behind Netflix.
4. Original Programming Unloads
Netflix credits original programming for its big gain in 2013. Netflix, Amazon, and other players unload on original programming in 2014.
Original programming puts Netflix on a similar level as HBO. In fact, Netflix is becoming more and more like the HBO of the cable-cutting generation. We’re already seeing original programming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and more. Watch for it to continue in a big way in 2014.
3. Online Recommendation Engines
From Netflix to Foursquare, recommendations will reign in 2014.
Netflix has built its dashboard on recommendations; Foursquare is changing its focus to a recommendation search engine; Redbox is sending movie recommendations via email; and dozens of others will follow.
We’re submitting mounds of data online through clicks, purchases, and check-ins. All of that data finally pays off in 2014 by providing excellent recommendations. Watch for all of our online services to start recommending content, including advertising.
2. Mobile surpasses desktop
YouTube mobile use is currently at 40%, up from 25% the previous year. Social network use is already at more than 50 percent mobile. In 2014, the rest of the web will catch up.
Nearly 200 million Facebook users are mobile only, and mobile accounts for 30 percent of Facebook’s revenue. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat are built for mobile. From browsing to socializing, streaming and shopping, mobile is where it’s at in 2014 as it overtakes desktop usage.
1. HBO introduces standalone streaming service
Netflix has now surpassed HBO with the most subscribers, at 40 million, though HBO’s revenue is still above the streaming leader.
The peer pressure finally gets to HBO as it releases a standalone streaming service, likely late in 2014.
Though, like cable, it’s higher priced than most want to pay. In the $25 per month range. Showtime is another contender for standalone premium cable.
Both have cable-invested backers in Time Warner (HBO) and CBS (Showtime), which will delay a standalone subscription model, but watch for either one to roll out this option in 2014.
A LOOK BACK AT 2013.
Eric’s Ad Blog 5 Tech Predictions for 2013
5. Second Screen takes off
4. Facebook loses market share
3. Mobile Payments become mainstream
2. Free city-wide Internet
1. Big Netflix Competitor
Read the full 2013 predictions report here.