Amazon Prime pricing

Screenshot by Roger Cheng/CNET

Amazon has begun offering a new pricing plan for Amazon Prime that will put it in direct competition with Netflix and Hulu.

For those that just can’t bring themselves to pay $79 in a lump sum for a year of Amazon Prime, the online retailer has started offering an option to pay $7.99 a month. It’s an intriguing number as it just so happens to be the same price that Netflix and Hulu charge for their streaming video options.

While this still isn’t a stand-alone option for the Prime Instant Videos service, it sends a pretty clear message that Amazon is going after Netflix and Hulu. The kicker, of course, is that Prime also gives you unlimited two day shipping and the Kindle lending library, so there is definitely some additional value in this offering.

The $79 annual membership is still available, and it still the far better option as $7.99 a month adds up to $95.88 for the same time period. Either way, Netflix and Hulu appear to have a real competitor on their hands now.

[via CNET]

UPDATE: Speaking to TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We are always looking at ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers. We are testing a monthly Prime subscription. Beyond that, we don’t have anything further to offer.”