Let the streaming battle begin!

In a space that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) has owned practically uncontested over the years, Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) appears to be ready to make a serious play in this fast-growing niche.

After months of reports that originally surfaced in The Wall Street Journal, screen shots are beginning to pop up of a digital-video service that Amazon reportedly plans to roll out to its most active customers.

If Amazon provides the streams to folks paying $79 a year for free two-day shopping through its Prime membership program, it would be a shrewd move. That would help Amazon scale quickly, and that's a big deal when you consider that Netflix weighs in with a whopping 20 million subscribers.

Folks love things that are provided "at no additional cost," just as Netflix originally introduced its streaming service to its customers. It remains to be seen what kind of a digital catalog Amazon can drum up. Putting one together may be a tall order, especially now that studios are coming down with seller's remorse for unloading their digital rights too cheaply.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Las VegasSands (NYSE: LVS) had a good hand, but it wasn't enough to beat the house. The casino operator posted a 57% revenue spike in its latest quarter, but it was still just shy of what Wall Street was expecting.
  • Photobooks specialist Shutterfly (Nasdaq: SFLY) popped higher after posting market-thumping results and providing upbeat guidance. Nice snapshot, Shutterfly.
  • Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT) shares were leveled after the enterprise-networking solutions provider spooked investors by revealing that free cash flow ill be negative this fiscal year.
  • Citigroup (NYSE: C) has wrestled away control of EMI from Terra Firma, for better or worse. Citi's not going to start rocking out. It will probably flip the troubled music label to a new buyer soon.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He owns shares of Netflix and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.