Amazon Instant Video

Given the sale yesterday in Amazon Prime, I figured I would get it so that I had access to their movies and their music service. Of course the free delivery thing won’t help me much but figured for 70 odd bucks a year I have lots of new video and audio content. I assume that both product are not as good as Netflix or Spotify and so far that is turning out to be true. Of course Amazon cares more about the overall model than the individual products which means basically that Netflix and Spotify crush it if you just compare the products, which generally is always the case when there is a pure play company versus a conglomerate approach.

What surprises me though is how bad the video app. Given all of their resources one would assume they could make a better app.

As to the VPN issue the app won’t play anything unless I VPN. It also won’t do anything on data – I must be on wifi which I thought odd.

Once you VPN in you must stay VPN’d or it stops working. This is where I have always known that Netflix does really try to GEO block anything cause with Netflix I can disconnect the VPN once the video starts streaming. With Amazon if I disconnect the VPN I get an error immediately. Contrast this with the music app where it appears no VPN is needed at all.

However the video app itself is so buggy. I only use it with Airplay so I can watch on my TV, Amazon is not on the Apple TV FYI, but it consistently would just stop working. If I got notification on my phone the Airplay would stop. Many times the TV would keep running the video without sound and the app would keep playing the video with sound but at different locations. For sure Airplay is not the bug free experience it used to be but on the Spuul app and on Netflix I never see these issues. Once the app goes awry I found I can’t get anything Airplay related working till I bounce the app. Normally if severe Airplay issue you have to bounce the Apple TV.

Content wise there is some interesting stuff. Movies on it that are not on Netflix, TV shows that are also not on Netlfix and of course all the Amazon content which I have yet to look at yet.

All in all a decent value for the money and I assume even more so if I could use the free shipping but it’s silly to me they put out such buggy apps. Silly.

4 thoughts on “Amazon Instant Video

  1. Pingback: Online Video post from A16z blog | Key Performance Indicators

  2. metaremix

    I use this app on a regular basis. You’re right – it’s not outstanding. But it does improve regularly (at least on iOS). It’s not on regular Android, but is on Fire. To me, that’s sillier than the overall quality. So on the quality point, all I can say is that it’s not super surprising to me. They often release MVPs and improve over time – one of the few giants to do that imho.

    Oh, and my biggest issue – content availability is poor compared to netflix. That’s worse than quality to me.

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  3. Mr. KPI Post author

    Metaremix – I get the notion of a mvp for Aws stuff or experimental stuff but not with a consuner facing app. Silly a company of their size can’t build a world class streaming app. Agree on the content thing which is why building a killer app makes even more sense. The app is shit.

    Ravi – yeah. It’s just a rally buggy app for me. I haven’t tried it on web or android yet. Good selection but nothing really new is my issue.

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