Amazon Joins Device Fray; To Offer Free Streaming Service?


Jeff Bezos

Last night, we reported on Roku’s new Streaming Stick. Then we discovered a report from The Hollywood Reporter that Amazon is jumping into the streaming device game.

“Amazon has invited media to attend an event in New York on April 2 where it is expected to announce plans for a streaming-video device similar to an Apple TV or Roku,” wrote Natalie Jarvey. “Prime Instant Video is already available through devices such as Roku. An Amazon product would also provide access to that content and apps for other services such as Netflix and Hulu.”

In addition to the Amazon Prime service, the company has begun producing original series, including Alpha House and Betas.

The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is considering an ad-supported video and music streaming service (but is denying it), to offset the $99 annual Prime membership option.

“Data Amazon collects about viewers’ television and music preferences could allow it to deliver more targeted ads, including for products sold on its retail website,” wrote Greg Bensinger. “It could sell Adidas shoes to Run-D.M.C.’s ‘My Adidas’ music video fans.”

In addition to ads targeted at selling Amazon products to its streaming service viewers, the company would profit by monetizing their product through advertising. The free, ad-supported model is becoming increasingly popular and more profitable.

According to Flurry, 90% of iOS apps were free in 2013, up from 84% in 2010, with the average iPhone app costing $0.19 and The New York Times states that $1.6 billion on mobile advertising in 2011.

In some ways, comparing a streaming media service to mobile apps is a bit apples and oranges but the idea is still the same. Given the option, people are more inclined to deal with advertising rather than paying for a service.

Marcello De Feo

Founder and CEO at Untied Magazine
Marcello De Feo started blogging in 2002 as a way to promote his band and stay in touch with friends back east when he lived in Colorado. Over the years, he has owned and run many blogs, the most notable of which was FlyersFaithful.com. Untied is his most expansive effort to date and he is ecstatic to have so many brilliant writers on board from the get go.