Amazon Fire TV (Homescreen 002)

Following the unveiling of its new Fire TV box last week, Amazon announced today that video streams on Instant Video nearly tripled over the past year. And according to a report from tracking firm Qwilt, the e-commerce giant has surpassed Apple and Hulu in streaming video usage.

The report doesn’t mention how traffic for Apple and Hulu is being tracked, but it does show that Amazon experienced a 94% traffic volume increase of streaming video users in the last 12 months. In fact, in March, Amazon’s Instant Video service was only topped by Netflix and YouTube… 

From the press release:

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr. 8, 2014– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon Instant Video today announced that video streams on Prime Instant Video nearly tripled year over year. According to a report from Qwilt, which tracks growth in online video usage, Amazon has now passed both Apple and Hulu in streaming video usage.

“We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in great TV shows and movies for Prime members and it’s working,” said Bill Carr, VP of Digital Video and Music for Amazon. “As part of their membership, AmazonPrime members can watch their favorite movies and television shows on an unlimited basis, and as we add original content like Alpha House, Bosch, The After, Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent, we have no doubt that customers will be even more delighted with the selection available. And now, with Fire TV, customers have the easiest way to access this content.”

And from the Qwilt report:

Set top boxes (Qwilt 001)

For those unfamiliar with Amazon’s Instant Video service, it’s similar to other streaming video services like Netflix in that it offers on-demand access to a range of movies and TV shows. But where Netflix costs $10 per month, Amazon’s service is free for members of its Prime shipping program.

Apple, for its part, has been rumored to be developing some sort of on-demand subscription video service to better compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon, but we have yet to see anything materialize. For now, it simply offers content for rent and purchase through its iTunes Store.