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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