Amazon could go ad-supported for new video service
If you’re interested in music on your phone, there are tons of free options out there, all ready to stream high-quality tracks from popular artists, in exchange for you listening to the occasional ad. But start talking about video, and the situation changes: sure, we have the YouTubes out there, with their own free, ad-supported content, but the really good stuff is walled-off behind pay services like Netflix, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime. The latter made some big inroads on mobile earlier this year as we saw its streaming video come to Amazon’s Android app, but it was still a subscription service. Could that be about to change? That’s a theory going around this week, as rumors suggest that Amazon is readying an ad-funded video service that would either be outright free or much more affordable than Prime.
While Prime is still important to Amazon for a lot of reasons, an ad-supported video-only service might help the company grab viewers away from companies like Netflix. Amazon’s goal could be to ultimately convert even those to paid Prime users eventually, using this ad-based offering as the carrot on the stick.
This report doesn’t specifically discuss any mobile plans Amazon may have for this venture, but given the company’s new interest in smartphone hardware, and continuing interests in mobile software, streaming services, and tablet hardware, we have to assume that it’s at least thinking about the possibilities there.
With YouTube beginning to embrace subscriptions in the form of Music Key, it’s interesting to see another video service thinking about moving in the opposite direction. We’re far from confirmation that this is indeed something Amazon intends to do, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for new developments along this line.