NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Amazon edged into Netflix territory on Tuesday when it unveiled a free, instant movie and TV show streaming option for those who pay for its Amazon Prime service.
Amazon already offered "Instant Video" on its website, with sales and rental prices varying widely based on the content's age and popularity. A typical price point is $2.99 for a 48-rental.
Tuesday's announcement drops that price to zero for members of Amazon Prime, a service that offers free two-day shipping on Amazon merchandise in exchange for a $79 annual fee.
Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) said it is making 5,000 movies and TV shows available for free streaming. The offerings include the Swedish-language The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, classic films like Amadeus and Chariots of Fire, and TV series such as "Fawlty Towers."
But the selection is a mere sliver of the 90,000 movies and TV shows in Amazon's complete Instant Video catalog.
For example, Amazon currently offers five of this year's 10 Best Picture Oscar nominees for instant streaming. None are included in the free Amazon Prime offer. If you want to watch front-runner The Social Network, it'll cost you $3.99 for a 24-hour rental or $14.99 to buy permanent viewing rights.
The move puts Amazon on a collision course with Netflix, which aims to dominate the online streaming market. Last year, Netflix hit a milestone: The majority of its 20 million subscribers viewed more of their TV shows and movies online through streaming than by mailed DVD.
A Netflix spokesman declined to disclose how many movies and TV shows the company makes available for instant viewing, saying only that its catalog includes "thousands and thousands" of content selections.
Amazon's foray deeper into the streaming market comes as another Netflix rival, Redbox, is also planning an onslaught. Best known for its $1 DVD rental kiosk service, Redbox said last week that it is readying an online streaming service.
Shares of several uranium miners are soaring this year on hopes that Donald Trump will commit more investments to nuclear power. But investors need to get careful. The stocks are as volatile as radioactive elements. More
President Trump promised to 'buy American and hire American.' He says his policies will create 25 million new jobs, the most of any U.S. president in history. CNNMoney lays out just how hard that will be. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
If you're smart about when you first claim Social Security, you can increase your benefits and reap the rewards for the rest of your life. More