updated 06:30 pm EDT, Wed September 1, 2010
Amazon gets same ABC, Fox 99c TV rentals as Apple
(Updated with Amazon statement) Amazon today revealed that Apple's 99-cent iTunes TV rentals weren't an exclusive by offering 99-cent Amazon VOD rentals of its own. As with Apple's plans, Amazon has both ABC and Fox providing shows, although the online retailer's ability to rival iTunes is mixed. Amazon VOD can play on the web and on multiple set-top boxes like the TiVo, but only some of its shows are in HD where Apple promises 720p.
The company has been one of Apple's closer competitors in recent years. Apple only attacked Amazon's core business more directly when it launched the iPad and the iBookstore in April, but Amazon has been the next-closest competitor to iTunes in music, through Amazon MP3, and later with Amazon VOD. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has said the Kindle is in a different category and is focused much more intently on reading, but it may be concerned as many iPad buyers opt out of buying Kindles and lose potential hardware sales as a result.
Update: Amazon said the 99-cent price is for ownership, not rental, although its video is still stream-only on most set-top boxes.