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Amazon to Launch Rival to Netflix

Sony and Microsoft looking to stream through video game consoles as concerns mount over Netflix domination

NEW YORK -- Entertainment and technology companies are exploring new online services that would offer film and TV content to rival Netflix's streaming service, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The moves come amid concern that Netflix could end up dominating electronic distribution of Hollywood content in a way similar to how Apple's iTunes dominates music.

Among others, Amazon.com is developing a Netflix-type subscription service for TV shows and movies, according to the Journal. It would be offered in a bundle with the Amazon Prime shipping service, which costs $79 a year.

OnLive, a startup that offers video games over the Web, in which Warner Bros. is an investor, plans to offer movies via subscriptions and other offers.

Microsoft and Sony Corp. have also talked to media giants about licensing services TV shows for subscription offers through their video game consoles.

TV maker Vizio has also expressed an interest in getting content for a video subscription service.

"I think 'concerned' is a gross understatement," OnLive CEO Steve Perlman told the Journal about the feelings of entertainment companies towards Netflix's rising online distribution power. "There's a snowball effect. At some point they have so much content, if you want to get your stuff distributed you have to go with them."

The Journal highlighted that competition for content will help bid up its value. "We're always in favor of a vibrant, competitive ecosystem," Zander Lurie, senior vp of strategic development at CBS Corp. told the Journal.