Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Free Ad-Supported Amazon Prime Video May Be Coming

Free Ad-Supported Amazon Prime Video May Be Coming

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. The move is part of an overall push into video as the company looks to keep pace with Netflix and continue its disruption of the traditional film and TV sector.

This isn't the first time Amazon has been said to be working on an ad-supported video streaming service. The new report doesn't contradict this. This could involve Amazon offering content creators their own channels, which it kind of does already with things like its HBO and Showtime "channels". At the same time, cable is far from dead, as a recent report shows that 18-34 year-olds in the U.S. still watch 10 times more traditional TV on average than Netflix. This service will be free to use and will show advertisements to the users for monetisation.

Ad Age is reporting that Amazon is in talks with TV networks, media companies, and movie studios to get them to provide programming for this free service. There's no word on when the company might try to launch the service at this time. Welcome to 2017, where everyone wants everything to be free.

Amazon can often tout numbers suggesting that they have millions of subscribers to their video service, but these numbers are muddied by the fact that everyone who signs up for Amazon Prime (2-day delivery on nearly everything) comes with free access to the video catalog. If Hulu is any indication, ads will come in bunches and often, forcing you to wait two or more minutes every six or seven minutes to get through your favorite show. As of this July, Amazon is believed to have 85 million customers signed up for its Prime service in the U.S.; numbers from June indicate that Netflix has about 50 million subscribers there, while cable companies count about 48.6 million subscribers nationwide in total. Prime subscribers pay an annual fee of £79 to gain access to perks like one-day delivery as well as access to Prime Video.

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