Amazon Reportedly Planning to Launch Free Video Streaming Service With Ads
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is set for a fresh move on video-streaming space. Since last year, Amazon has been gaining ground on Netflix as the most popular video streaming service in the US, and now it is planning something that could overtake its rival.
According to reports, the e-commerce giant will roll out a new ad-supported streaming offering early next year that will be separate from its $99-a-year Prime membership that includes a video service.
The ad-supported option — part of an overhaul of its media offerings — poses a serious challenge to streaming rivals such as Hulu and Netflix, analysts said. “If they do an ad-supported service, they will decouple it from Prime and that is a Netflix killer,” said Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter. “It won’t be $99 a year.”
In March, the WSJ came up with a similar report describing a free, ad-supported video service from Amazon. At the time, the company flat-out denied that this was happening. “We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service,” an Amazon spokeswoman told Variety in response to the WSJ report. The NYP report notes that the ad-based service is ‘a definite go’ but does not specify a launch date.
Although it will be separate from Prime, the ad-supported service is ultimately a bid by Amazon to lure people to eventually pay up for the Prime membership, said one ad source familiar with Amazon’s plans. However, the company has not confirmed anything and said it has not announced any plans to offer an ad-supported video streaming service. That doesn’t mean that the company won’t, though. This essentially means that they won’t comment on this particular subject.