Amazon plotting ad-supported streaming service?

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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.

So how do you compete with the biggest name in streaming and stand out in an increasingly crowded landscape? Roku also recently launched their free streaming service called The Roku Channel. And according to a new report, that's exactly what Amazon is setting out to do.

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Now, CNET is speculating that instead of offering a version of Prime Video for free, Amazon might be building a totally different free and ad-supported video-streaming service. This would be a great way to get a better sense of how popular their shows can be, as well as likely offer another advertising channel for the service to promote the paid version of Prime, something that Jeff Bezos has suggested he wants to be a no-brainer for every person. But the differentiating factor is that these shows are available to watch for free, and a lot of them are interrupted by advertisements. Now according to AdAge this free service is close to becoming a reality. In the past, the company has experimented with commercials on the platform to a very limited extent, such as placing ads inside National Football League games.

The release of a free platform could also enable Amazon to target cost-conscious markets, like India, where a significant number of residents aren't in a position to shell out $10.99 a month - or $99 per year - for a Prime membership. It includes syndicated movies and TV shows, as well as original content produced by Amazon. 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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Amazon would not be the first service to do this. As of this July, Amazon is believed to have 85 million customers signed up for its Prime service in the USA; numbers from June indicate that Netflix has about 50 million subscribers there, while cable companies count about 48.6 million subscribers nationwide in total.

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