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Amazon Isn't Sure You Know It Has a Lot of Video to Watch

So it's sending out this helpful letter.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Amazon is spending lots of money to build up its Prime Instant Video offering — the Netflix-like streaming video service it gives away free to its Prime customers. It just agreed to drop more than $300 million on HBO shows, for instance.

But it’s not clear that its customers know about the service. Data from outside observers and anecdotal reports from people who sell programming to Amazon suggest that its usage lags very far behind Netflix.

And until recently, it was often hard to find much evidence that Prime Instant exists when you visited

Here’s another indicator that Amazon thinks it would be good to get a few more eyeballs on its videos: A letter — an actual letter, printed on paper and delivered via the mail — that my colleague Jason Del Rey found in his mailbox today, sent by Amazon video head Bill Carr.

The letter gets right to the point: “As you may already know, you have access to unlimited instant video streaming as part of your Prime membership. I wanted to take a minute to remind you of just how much great viewing is available to you as we continue to add new TV shows and movies to the service.”

Carr goes on to explain how you can go about watching that video, including instructions on how to download the company’s video app, etc.

He also tells you which devices you might be able to use to watch the stuff, including Amazon’s new Fire TV set-top box.

One interesting omission: Apple’s Apple TV box, which doesn’t have an Amazon video app, but which does allow you to watch Amazon video in conjunction with an iOS device, using its AirPlay streaming feature.

You can read the whole thing below. Click on the image to see a larger version:

This article originally appeared on

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