IF YOU’VE GOT A kid or commute in your life, you’ll love the Fire’s talents as a video jukebox. With its growing lineup of mainstream TV shows and movies, Amazon is giving Netflix and Apple a reason to look over their shoulders. It’s all part of Jeff Bezos’s master plan to turn what began as an online bookselling site into something much bigger. He’s also fixing to put the competitive scare into your local cable company. Consider, for example, what’s playing on your local Fireplex:
TV shows. Networks big and small have signed on—everyone from ABC to VH1, and most of the alphabet in between. BBC, CBS, and Comedy Central are among those who’ve licensed at least a decent chunk of their catalog. All told, you have about 10,000 shows to pick from, most of which you can buy; some are available for rent.
Movies. The lineup here is much bigger—you can choose from about 55,000 flicks. Sure, some are straight from the discount bin, but there are also plenty of A-list options featuring big name stars and directors. Rent or buy, the choice is yours.
Prime Instant Videos. Here’s where Amazon gets really clever. Subscribing to the $79-a-year free-shipping service gets you unlimited, commercial-free access to a library of 15,000 TV shows and movies. Everything here gets streamed. You can’t download any of these files, so it’s not a substitute for the in-flight movie. ...