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Amazon Unbox

Video distribution and download service
Amazon Cemetery


In 2006, Amazon launched a video distribution and download service called Amazon Unbox. With Unbox, users could download television shows and movies from major studios such as Paramount, Warner Bros, Fox, and more.

Unbox had a selection of 1400 movies when it launched and provided users a free TV show for a limited time. To supplement the service, Amazon released a piece of software called Amazon Unbox Video Player which acted as a storefront and allowed users to download and manage their movies and TV shows.


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Cause of Failure

In March of 2015, Amazon revealed that it was closing down the Unbox services. After the closing date, customers would no longer be able to access the content online. In an email by Amazon, users were advised to download the purchased content which could then be viewed offline through Windows Media Player. However, all content not downloaded would be lost. Even before the announcement, many users were unable to find links to download Unbox on the website.

The shutdown may be due to Amazon’s growing interest in video streaming. Amazon Unbox seemed to be taking a backseat as the company focused more on its upgraded services. By 2015, Amazon had entirely shifted to Amazon Video, previously known as Amazon Instant Video. The Amazon Video service included online streaming which had become quite popular by that time. In 2018, Amazon renamed the service to Prime Video and by 2020, Prime Video is known to have over 150 million subscribers all over the world.


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