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21st of November 2017

Technology



Report: Amazon Plans Free, Ad-Supported Video Streaming Service

Amazon Video Tips

Alongside the growing amount of original content, signing up for one or more streaming video subscription services such as Netflix or Prime Video comes with the added bonus of no ads. However, Amazon is apparently working on a completely free version of its Prime Video service that will be full of ads.

According to AdAge, Amazon is currently in talks with movie studios, media companies, and TV networks to plan content for a free video streaming service. Whereas Prime subscribers pay $99 a year and gain access to Prime Video without ads, this service wouldn't cost consumers a dime. In return for that free viewing experience, Amazon would surround content with advertising to cover the costs of the service.

An Amazon spokesperson responded to the news with the statement, "We have no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video."

Earlier this year, the number of Amazon Prime subscribers topped 80 million, but that still leaves tens of millions more who don't or even won't pay for access to streamed content. A free service may entice them to try Amazon's platform, at which point Amazon could regularly try and upsell them to a Prime subscription as well as introducing all the other perks paying for Prime offers.

If this free service sounds like a return to regular ad-funded TV, think again. Amazon is apparently planning a much more lucrative deal to content owners. For example, it has been suggested Amazon will share advertising revenue with content creators by allowing them to set up their own channels and provide a set number of hours of content each week. We could effectively have the equivalent of YouTube, only each channel would be from an approved and established movie studio, TV network, or media company.

As to what content we should expect to see on a free Prime Video service, look for a little of everything, from children's programming, travel, and cooking, to classic TV shows and the thousands of old movies the studios have to offer.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Nov. 14 with comment from Amazon.

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