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Is Amazon Adding Ad-Supported 'Prime TV' Service
14 November 2017, 04:20 | Cesar Cruz
Reports of a free, ad-supported Amazon video service resurface
A new report claims that Amazon is in fact developing a free ad-supported version of Amazon Prime Video. That makes it one of the cheapest streaming services out there.
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. This time around, sources say Amazon has been engaging in talks with both movie studios and TV production companies over getting content for the service. That would likely be in addition to Amazon's own in-house content that includes hits such as The Man in the High Castle and Transparent.
If the company pulls off the move, the strategy would theoretically make Amazon's video service available to everybody, whether they pay for it or not. Even so, an ad-driven service would probably have a huge audience and spur further cord-cutting. The company was hotly tipped to be preparing such a service back in 2014, although that never came to fruition, so the new rumours should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Amazon expects more kids programming and lifestyle programming would fill out the free streaming programming, which would be a draw for people seeking that type of programming. As part of its strategy to swoon content creators, Amazon may share audience information with them alongside ad revenue.
Meanwhile, Amazon has already begun experimenting in a limited capacity with ads (you can spot them in National Football League games) and brand integrations on Prime Video.
It's not the first time a company has attempted to offer premium content using ads to replace a monthly subscription fee. According to AdAge's sources, payments would be "linked" to how often a show or movie is watched. 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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