Amazon is preparing a free, ad-supported version of its Prime Video streaming service, which will help it diversify itself from rivals Hulu, Netflix and YouTube, reports Ad Age.
It’s thought that the firm has already entered into negotiations with a number of leading TV networks and movie studios, in a bid to release its free on-demand streaming platform before the competition catches wind of its plan.
Prime Video is bundled with Amazon’s premium shipping service in a number of countries, including the United States, offering customers instant access to a slew of syndicated movies and TV shows, as well as original content.
Related: Amazon Video vs. Netflix
Amazon has around 85 million customers subscribed to Prime in the United States, while Netflix has around 50 million, according to a recent study. An ad-supported membership tier could help it strengthen its lead.
Amazon will be able to target cost-conscious markets
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.
If piracy has taught us anything, it’s that people are only too willing to watch something for free, even if it’s riddled with ads. Amazon’s service should employ a similar model, with the main difference being that it will pay creators royalties.
Oh…and it will, of course, be legal.
Would you use a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video? Or would you rather pay for an ad-free experience? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews?