Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Amazon might soon offer a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video

Amazon might soon offer a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video

But to be fair, everyone continues to lag behind Netflix in that particular race. This gives Amazon the ability to charge advertisers enough money to cover its deals with outside studios.

Ad Age reports that Amazon is prepping a free ad-supported version of its Prime Video streaming service, which could help it take on rivals like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. The company was to launch it as an ad-supported service. And according to a new report, that's exactly what Amazon is setting out to do. While Roku and Vudu offer some streaming content for free, Amazon diving into this particular realm feels like a big move for the company, which has often struggled to compete with the likes of Netflix when it comes to capturing the attention of streamers.

The news arrives in an environment increasingly populated with new players to the streaming video game, including CBS All-Access, Facebook's Watch service, or the upcoming streaming platforms from Disney and Apple. Voddler has previously attempted a similar service, making all of its premium content available for free, although it soon switched tactics by only making a portion of its content available to non-paying customers. Or would you rather pay for an ad-free experience? However, an ad-supported service would probably annoy the same group of people.

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.

This sounds like an unnecessary step for Amazon.

The question now is will Amazon find partners willing to work with them and what exactly will be included with this ad-supported version of Amazon Prime Video. As of this July, Amazon is believed to have 85 million customers signed up for its Prime service in the USA; numbers from June indicate that Netflix has about 50 million subscribers there, while cable companies count about 48.6 million subscribers nationwide in total.

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