Amazon Reportedly Readying Free Streaming Video Service

Because the new service likely will feature original series and licensed shows, this amounts to an on-demand, cloud-based television station., as if it has nothing else to do these days, reportedly is about to start up its own cloud-based television station.

The dominating Web services and retail sales provider, seeing video-streaming providers such as Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV and Google's Play and YouTube gaining more and more control of the sector, is readying its own new, free-of-charge, ad-supported streaming television and music-video service, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Because the new streaming service likely will feature original series and may include licensed programming, this amounts to an independent, on-demand, cloud-based television station.

The new service, which the Journal said will launch in the coming months, will be a separate entity from Amazon's existing Prime video service, which currently charges members $99 per year to watch videos and listen to music on personal connected devices.

If and when the free service becomes a reality, it is expected that Amazon would drop -- or at least reconfigure -- the Prime service.

Amazon already has held negotiations with the creators of "Betas," a series about a Silicon Valley startup that Amazon produced last year for Prime, the Journal said.

Amazon also plans to offer free music videos with advertising to users visiting its retail Website, Journal sources said. The videos would be offered as an enticement for customers to buy CDs or DVDs.

An Amazon spokeswoman contacted by eWEEK had no comment on March 27.

Amazon has invited media members to an event in New York on April 2, where it is expected to release a streaming-video device that is expected to compete with Roku, Google's Chromecast and Apple TV.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...