Amazon expands Instant Video streaming service to iPhone

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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is extending its Instant Video platform to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and iPod touch, enabling consumers to stream or download feature-length films and television shows directly to their mobile device.

Amazon Instant Video offers more than 140,000 titles in all, including 30,000 free movies and TV programs available via Prime Instant Video, which is part of the digital retailer's Amazon Prime program offering free multimedia content and two-day shipping for $79 a year. Consumers who purchase or rent a movie from Amazon Instant Video may now stream that content via iPhone or iPod over a Wi-Fi connection; users may also download their video for offline viewing. The free app also touts direct access to a selection of top Prime Instant Video titles including Downton Abbey and Fringe; users can visit the Amazon site to add more content to their watchlist.

Amazon Instant Video's expansion to the iPhone and iPod touch further enhances the company's "buy once, enjoy everywhere" business model, which leverages its Whispersync content synchronization technology to enable viewers to begin watching a title on one device and pick up where they left off on another device. Supported platforms also include Amazon's own Kindle Fire tablets as well as PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Similar Instant Video functionality rolled out to Apple's iPad tablet earlier this year.

The new Amazon Instant Video app follows several months after Amazon extended its Cloud Player streaming music application to the iPhone and iPod touch, enabling consumers to access and download music stored in the cloud to their iOS device. Amazon's continued interest in making its multimedia services available across rival device platforms underscores the company's core mobile philosophy: While Apple focuses on device sales and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) relies on advertising and search services, Amazon is most interested in generating revenues via digital content sales.

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