In return for that free viewing experience, Amazon would surround content with advertising to cover the costs of the service. As part of its strategy to swoon content creators, Amazon may share audience information with them alongside ad revenue.
Amazon would not be the first service to do this. It sounds like the new service could be a separate entity from Amazon's current Prime Video service, rather than simply the same service with commercial interruptions.
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.
In the United States and UK, Prime Video is generally advertised as a side perk of Amazon's popular $99/£79 Prime membership service, but it's also possible to buy a standalone monthly subscription. And don't forget, free viewers will likely still need to buy a Amazon Fire TV device to watch. We could effectively have the equivalent of YouTube, only each channel would be from an approved and established movie studio, TV network, or media company. 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. One source even said ad revenue could be shared in exchange for a set number of hours of content each week.
In any case, Amazon's free streaming service wouldn't replace Amazon Prime and it wouldn't be a massive destination for sparkling new content. Amazon is reportedly seeking travel, cooking, and lifestyle shows for the service, along with new children's programming.
Amazon didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment. It's not for lack of trying, Amazon executives are pushing extremely hard on their Prime Video catalog development, with big budgets and brand name celebrities, but Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, is still rumored to have burst into the Prime offices demanding a "Game of Thrones" hit.
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