Amazon Plans to Stream TV, Movies— for Free
And likely launch a Roku-like streaming box next week
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2014 4:55 PM CDT
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, poses for a photo Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, with the 8.9-inch version of the new Amazon Kindle HDX tablet computer in Seattle.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – YouTube and Netflix, watch your back: Amazon plans to stream video content for free and rise among the ranks of multimedia power players, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. If it happens, the project will include original series like Betas as well as licensed programming that Amazon could tie to its retail website (shoppers looking for Bruce Springsteen CDs might watch the video for "Born in the USA," say). The service would run on ad dollars and try to entice people into paying $99 annually for Prime, which currently offers unlimited video streaming.

Other evidence something's up: Amazon paid about $1 billion last year for content and original programming, and plans to launch something new next week—likely the Roku-like box it's been building since 2012, GigaOm reports. The device will offer Prime video along with apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus, and possibly games (Amazon has been designing a wireless game controller, after all). The box may even include free streaming, but if that reduces the value of Prime, Amazon "would risk losing Prime customers," a TV analyst tells USA Today. "After all, it just raised the price."

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
jgarbuz
Apr 1, 2014 6:58 PM CDT
So it will be another Hulu. Competition for quality content will only increase meaning that you'll need to get two or three services to get the decent content, as it will be split up.
txmx05@juno.com
Mar 28, 2014 5:28 AM CDT
Another monopoly being cultivated by Wall st and Washington.
FarmerMichael
Mar 27, 2014 11:51 PM CDT
Amazon is a bit of a challenge...on the 26th, a whole bunch of shows that were available to Prime subscribers free turned into $1.99 a show items. Pain in the ass. No notice. No way of knowing what they will do. At least Netflix lets you see a bar that says you have a couple weeks left to view the series you are working one's way through.