Amazon planning free ad-supported video streaming service

Amazon planning free ad-supported video streaming service

Despite showcasing its fair share of acclaimed shows, Amazon continues to lag behind Netflix in the war for streaming domination. Amazon has denied the reports in the past but they have surfaced yet again.

The news arrives in an environment increasingly populated with new players to the streaming video game, including CBS All-Access, Facebook's Watch service, or the upcoming streaming platforms from Disney and Apple. Roku also recently launched their free streaming service called The Roku Channel.

While ad-supported streaming sounds an bad lot like regular television watched on a website or app rather than via a cable box, Amazon is experimenting with different payment systems to woo potential advertisers.

According to a report in AdAge based on unnamed sources in entertainment and advertising, the company is talking with a range of potential content partners across the film and TV landscape about a companion to the subscription version of Prime.

The free version could allow content creators to have their own channels and share advertising revenue with Amazon, which would provide audience information data back to advertisers, AdAge reported. However, an ad-supported service would probably annoy the same group of people.

In any case, Amazon's free streaming service wouldn't replace Amazon Prime and it wouldn't be a massive destination for sparkling new content. Amazon is reportedly seeking travel, cooking, and lifestyle shows for the service, along with new children's programming.

It may not feel like it in the moment, but the advent of the Internet and the rise of streaming video really has made content production into something of a wild west situation, and if Amazon manages to develop a premium and a free version of its service that can co-exist harmoniously, they may be able to tame the lawless frontier, if you will. Such a service would enable Amazon to bring in a lot more viewers as competition between tech giants competing in the online video space heats up.

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