Update: In a statement shared with GeekWire, Amazon said “we have no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video.”
Original story: Amazon may offer a streaming video service to those that don’t pay for a Prime membership.
AdAge reported Monday that Amazon is developing an ad-supported, free version of Prime Video that would complement the company’s existing paid service.
The free version could allow content creators to have their own channels and share advertising revenue with Amazon, which would provide audience information data back to advertisers, AdAge reported. The company is in talks with TV networks, movie studios, and others about the potential new service.
We’ve reached out to Amazon for details and will update this story when we hear back.
Amazon’s video streaming service is included as part of a $99 per year Prime membership, which includes other benefits like free 2-day shipping, Prime Now delivery, cloud storage, music streaming, and more.
Last year Amazon introduced a monthly subscription plan that allowed Prime Video access for $8.99 per month for video streaming, along with a $10.99 per month option that includes other Prime benefits.
This new ad-supported service would be the next step in Amazon’s growing video arm and could be a way to attract more Prime members. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of something like this, as reports in 2014 noted something similar in the works.
Amazon continues to spend big on video content — $4.5 billion this year — as it tries to add more Prime members. Advertising hasn’t been fully integrated into Prime Video, though Amazon is selling commercials during its NFL game live streams this fall.
Despite suspending the head of its studio division, Roy Price, after sexual harassment claims made against him — Price later resigned — Amazon said it plans to increase its spending on video content next year.
“We have not backed off our strategy,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said on the company’s most recent earnings call.
Meanwhile, other tech giants ranging from Apple to Facebook are also spending big on original content and developing their own video streaming products.
Amazon announced last month that it is moving Amazon Studios into a 280,000 square-foot complex at Culver Studios, marking the latest example of company’s growing Hollywood clout. It has taken home numerous Emmy awards over the years, and Amazon became the first streaming studio to win an Academy Award when it took home three Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Salesman.”