Amazon reportedly developing free ad-supported video service to complement Prime Video

Mae Love
November 13, 2017

AdAge reports that Amazon may make the freemium version of Prime Video happen by sharing audience information and ad revenue in order to improve its initial efforts with the initiative. But to be fair, everyone continues to lag behind Netflix in that particular race.

A free, ad-supported version of Prime would be promoted alongside the existing version made available to Prime members, who gain access to originals like Transparent and The Man in the High Castle, along with library titles by paying $99 a year, which also entitles them to free shipping and other Amazon benefits.

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. And according to a new report, that's exactly what Amazon is setting out to do. Amazon is apparently planning a much more lucrative deal to content owners.

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A full-fledged ad-supported streaming service would be entirely different. For example, it has been suggested Amazon will share advertising revenue with content creators by allowing them to setup their own channels and provide a set number of hours of content each week. The company already ran a fully-ad-supported show, "The Fashion Fund", past year, which was available for anyone to watch free - and didn't strip out any ads even if you were a Prime member. Welcome to 2017, where everyone wants everything to be free.

The service would differ from the Prime Video we know today in that it'll primarily focus on back catalogs from TV and movie studios.

As someone who happily pays the annual fee for Amazon Prime and all that comes with it, I've found their streaming selection to be mostly adequate. 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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