Amazon is reportedly prepping a free, ad-supported streaming video service. Sources tell AdAge that the company is negotiating content deals with TV networks, movie studios, and other media brands, with the lure of sharing ad revenue and viewing data. Although Amazon has experimented with ad-supported programs in the past, it puts nearly all its movies and shows behind the $99/year Amazon Prime paywall.
It’s unclear how much ad-supported video might overlap with the Prime catalog, if any, but AdAge says Amazon is generally seeking older TV shows and movies, lifestyle programming, and children’s shows for the free service. That content could serve as an on-ramp to Prime membership, but if Amazon were to tie the product advertising into its own retail store, it could be another way for the company to sell even more stuff.
Update: Amazon reached out with the following statement: “We have no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video.” The company has not responded to a follow-up question on whether it’s planning an ad-supported service of any kind, even without attachment to Prime.