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Amazon takes on Netflix with video-only Prime offering

Amazon has given its Prime service a makeover as it looks to gain ground on Netflix. The internet giant has announced that it will now let U.S. users sign up for to video-only subscriptions, letting them forgo the full membership package, which will still include benefits such as premium delivery.

From today (18 April) non-Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to Amazon Prime Video from $8.99 per month and cancel at any time to get access to Amazon's video library. The traditional Prime offering will still be available to users at an upfront cost of $99 per-year, or $10.99 each month. In the UK, Amazon has been quietly offering Prime Video at £5.99 per month (£71.88 a year), for a while, but will now bring more visibility to the service.

This new vertical model comes as Amazon looks to position itself as a cheaper alternative to Netflix, which is due to up prices in May, bumping 17 million Netflix subscribers' fees up from $9 per-month to $10.

Amazon has been investing in original programming over the past 12 months to compete with its rivals, commissioning programs such as The Man in the High Castle, Transparent and Jeremy Clarkson's long-teased new Top Gear-style show.

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