Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Amazon Video Could Soon Be Free, But There's A Catch

Amazon Video Could Soon Be Free, But There's A Catch

With Amazon still trying to level the playing field with Netflix, the online retail giant is reportedly considering the roll out of a brand new video service outside of the Prime universe that would be completely free and supported by ads.

People have been migrating away from traditional TV and toward subscription-based services like Netflix, in part because these platforms offer ad-free experiences. Amazon Prime is now priced at $99 annually, though a Prime Video subscription can be purchased for $8.99 per month.

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This can also give Amazon an advantage over the really tough competition ongoing among the various video streaming services.

In introducing a free version, Amazon could bring in far more users than its rivals and, in-turn, convert these people into paying Prime subscribers. Amazon is no stranger to cheaper ad-supported versions of many of its products - for example, you can score a cheaper Kindle that has ads on the its lockscreen but basically functions just like a regular ad-free Kindle. The idea of using ads during streaming content would be very similar to how, well, using ads during mainstream broadcast television works-but considering Amazon's got so much data on its customers, it may be able to target these ads much more hyper-specifically than a terrestrial television network is able to. AdAge says Amazon may also share audience information and ad revenue in order to bolster its initial efforts with the project.

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Much like the least expensive version of Hulu (or, you know, regular TV), the potential service would be supported by ads. Payment could correspond with the number of hours of content consumed on a particular channel on a weekly basis, according to AdAge. The company's catalogue included content from the likes of Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, and Disney, however; proving that content creators are interested in ad-supported models.

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