The New York Times is reporting that Amazon is scrapping its Unbox
service in favor of a new online TV and movie store called Amazon Video on Demand. Unlike iTunes and Unbox, Amazon's new digital store-front will stream any of 40,000 movies and television programs to customers. According to Bill Carr, Amazon's VP for digital media, "Our goal is to create an immersive experience where people can't help but get caught up in how exciting it is to simply watch a movie right from Amazon.com with a click of the button." In this regard, the first 2 minutes of every video will begin to play when customers visit the video's product page. Movies can be purchased and downloaded to your hard drive or stored in an Amazon video library allowing you to stream the content to other (any?) Internet connected devices. Films and TV shows from "almost all the major studios and television networks" will be available for sale or rental in the US at undisclosed prices -- only Disney and its ABC subsidiary are holding out for uh, obvious reasons (Steve Jobs is Disney's largest individual shareholder).
Amazon also plans to bring the service directly to the living room through a deal with Sony (and others) which will ultimately embed store access into future Bravia TVs. For now, Amazon's VoD store will be available through Sony's $300 Bravia Internet Video Link
device. The store goes beta-hot today for a limited number of "invited" US Amazon.com customers before going a live later this summer.