Amazon is developing a free version of Amazon Prime

Skinny Television Bundle

Skinny Television Bundle

Amazon, the e-commerce giant that's been known to sell just about anything, is said to be developing a new ad-supported streaming service that will accompany its current subscription video service, Amazon Prime Video.

An ad-supported programming service would diversify Amazon out of the saturated SVOD market and place it into an emerging area of free-to-consumer platforms-a position now being staked out by Facebook and its recently launched Watch platform. As part of its strategy to swoon content creators, Amazon may share audience information with them alongside ad revenue.

This is not the first time Amazon has been reported to have something like this in development, however. While Roku and Vudu offer some streaming content for free, Amazon diving into this particular realm feels like a big move for the company, which has often struggled to compete with the likes of Netflix when it comes to capturing the attention of streamers. If it can get its foot in your door, you may be more inclined to pay for Prime to get the ad-free viewing and star-studded originals you'd otherwise miss. The service generally costs Rs 999 in India and $99 in the United States, and is ad-free. "The only way to strike these deals is to provide a revenue share and share data insights". Back in 2014, the company was also rumored to be working on a very similar project - that is, a free video service that sits alongside the existing Prime Video offering that's bundled with an annual Prime Membership.

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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.

"Amazon is doubling down on its own media and content, and thinking about how to make that available", said one advertising exec that spoke with AdAge. A freemium model could prove a fruitful way to grow its viewer base.

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