Amazon reportedly planning ad-supported video streaming service

Amazon has plans to unveil a free, advertising-supported streaming service complete with television and music video content, according to the Wall Street Journal. It won't be based around Amazon Prime, which costs $99 per year, like originally thought.

The service could potentially bring huge disruptions to the video streaming scene, where services like Netflix and Hulu Plus dominate with monthly fees. Amazon wants to supplement the fees with advertisements.

The Journal reports the streaming service from Amazon, which may launch in the coming months, could stream original content from Amazon and licensed content from big networks.

The Seattle-based company is planning an early-April media event with video related announcements planned, and Recode reports Amazon has a set-top box announcement set, a gadget that would be ideal for delivering Amazon's streaming content.

It's not clear why Amazon is choosing not to use Prime as a requirement for the service, if the Journal's report is to be believed, especially when it was given a price hike a few months ago.

Currently Prime offers faster shipping and access to video content through Amazon's website. Not using Prime for the video streaming service could help Amazon build out its little known advertising unit.

An Amazon spokesperson wasn't immediately available for comment. Update:  “We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service,” Amazon spokeswoman Sally Fouts said. 

 

It doesn't sound like Amazon has plans to unveil the streaming service at its April event. Instead, the set-top box will feature apps found on other set-top boxes like Netflix and Hulu. However, in the future, Amazon's service could be front and centre.