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Amazon developing free ad-based streaming service
14 November 2017, 04:21 | Kelvin Horton
It started with some football
AdAge reports that Amazon is "developing a free, ad-supported complement to its Prime streaming video service". That would make its offering the Spotify of the video streaming industry, with both a premium and free offering. The ad-supported streaming service would feature back catalogues of TV and movie studios, with children's programming, lifestyle, travel, cooking and other shows that are a good fit for an e-commerce platform.
In addition to the broadcast television-esque advertising model, Amazon is also seeking to give content creators their own channels, with payments being doled out by the company to a creator based on how much content gets watched, similar to the way creators monetize their channels on YouTube.
The move to offer a free tier could make a lot of sense, given that Amazon has multiple competitors battling to become the replacement of choice as more households ditch traditional cable services. There is likely to be one stark difference between the two, however.
Now, users will be able to save that $99 a year and watch Amazon Prime for free as long as they're willing to sit through a slate of ads.
Despite showcasing its fair share of acclaimed shows, Amazon continues to lag behind Netflix in the war for streaming domination. Even so, an ad-driven service would probably have a huge audience and spur further cord-cutting.
According to reports, Amazon would sharing audience information with advertisers, allowing them to better target their products towards key demographics.
"Amazon is talking about giving content creators their own channels, and sharing ad revenue in exchange for a set number of hours of content each week", says one of the executives, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a project that Amazon has not announced, via Ad Age. It has dabbled in commercials on Prime to a very limited degree, putting ads inside National Football League games this season and offering smaller opportunities for brand integrations. Now according to AdAge this free service is close to becoming a reality.
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