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Amazon to one-up Netflix with free video streaming, reports say

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Amazon is gearing up to overthrow Netflix with a free-of-charge video streaming service, if new reports are to be believed.

According to the New York Post, tipsters have revealed the online retail giant is nearly ready to send an ad-supported service, negating the need to charge consumers for viewing content.

The insider sources say the service will be separate from the paid-for Prime membership, which currently gives access to Amazon Instant Video.

Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, commented on the rumours, stating: “If they do an ad-supported service, they will decouple it from Prime and that is a Netflix killer.”

“Who wouldn’t switch if you were poor or you’re a cord-cutter?” added Pachter.

According to the NYP’s unnamed sources, the free service would be used to eventually push Prime onto more consumers.

“The main point is to bring in more users that you can eventually up-sell to Prime, or to get to a broader audience that doesn’t want to pay for Prime, in order to increase their video share,” the source revealed.

The WSJ reported a similar story back in March this year, although Amazon denied having ‘plans’ to offer free media streaming at the time.

It’s entirely possible though that Amazon was toying with the idea at the time, and has since given it the corporate thumbs-up to launch next year.

Amazon Prime currently costs £79 a year, which is a hefty sum for many. Amazon however might be working on seducing potential customers with a taste of video streaming via the new service.

Prime currently boasts 15,000 movies and TV episodes with its Instant Video service, as well as free delivery, unlimited photo storage, and Kindle book loaning.

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chaosdefinesorder

November 21, 2014, 5:47 pm

The big problem with Amazon Prime, and something that has pissed me off repeatedly, is that for a 4-season show (as an example), season 1 to 3 will be on Prime, but the last season (even if it's more than a year old) will be paid only!

Big name examples that have caught me out being Community, Dexter, Grimm and Arrow

BlackCountryBob

November 21, 2014, 6:30 pm

This is one of those ideas which is kinda defeating the object of thee service. I like the look of a couple of things on Amazon prime but not enough to to justify subscribing, now I'll just see a couple of things that interest and keep my Netflix sub as I know I can't see house of cards anywhere else but I can see alpha house free.

Zane

November 21, 2014, 7:46 pm

What Amazon Instant Video needs is one subscription to cover all content just like Netflix.

I am unanimous in that

November 22, 2014, 10:03 pm

I used to like Prime when it was around £45 for excellent next day delivery. At nearer £80, I find the Amazon Instant Video service somewhat lacking, and like many other cancelled the service when it came up for renewal

Prem Desai

November 24, 2014, 8:37 am

This is a good move. Competition is good.

However, Amazon now need to desperately look into its Prime service model. It used to be for next day deliveries which is the reason why I have it. Then they raised the price and included Prime video which I don't want. I'm still a member of Prime because I order enough to justify just the deliveries but not happy to have the Prime video rammed down my throat.

They need to split up the Prime offering into packages that user can choose.

Pg

November 24, 2014, 2:30 pm

Yep...when I see "Prime currently boasts 15,000 movies and TV episodes..." I want to know how much I get with the subscription and how much I have to pay more to watch.
That false marketing really annoys me - at least with netflix I know where I stand when searching content.
If I'm going to subscribe I don't want to have to pay more to watch content on the service. Defeats the whole purpose of subscribing for me.

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