One giant asset that Amazon has over other rival streaming video services is IMDb, which the company purchased way back in 2008. And now, it’s actually using it to make its Prime Instant Video service more attractive.
Now any movie that’s available for free on Amazon Prime via IMDb’s iOS app will now feature a link to watch that movie on Amazon’s Instant Video iOS app. I tested this on my iPad and watched Thor using the link to Amazon Instant. If you don’t have the Instant Videos app on your tablet or smartphone, you’ll just get a prompt telling you to download it from the app store.
One thing you can’t really do is pull up specific episodes of television shows that are available on Prime Instant Video for free. Researching TV shows while I’m watching them is probably the main reason I consult IMDB these days, and it’s a bit surprising that Amazon didn’t bother building this functionality into the iOS app update. (Alternately, I could see myself rewatching more older episodes of TV shows, too.)
The move could end up pushing more people to Amazon Prime instead of Netflix, or potentially even net Amazon a few more memberships. It’s a bit curious that the company hasn’t pushed out similar links on the website — although you can click through to “purchase” the movie/show.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.