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Multiple reports suggest Amazon is working on free video streaming service

Tom Morgan
24 Nov 2014
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There'll soon be no need for a Prime subscription to get streaming content from Amazon, according to several US newspapers

Amazon's Prime Instant Video service could be joined by a free, ad-supported sibling in the future, according to multiple reports from the US.

Originally reported by the Wall Street Journal back in March, a report Amazon strongly denied, the company was in the process of planning a free alternative to its current streaming video service, which requires customers to sign up for a full Prime subscription. Currently Prime costs £79 a year and includes a whole host of other Amazon-centric services, including free next day delivery on purchases, access to the Kindle Lender's library, Amazon Music streaming and most recently, free web storage for photos, but many customers were riled at the prospect of paying for these extras when they only wanted streaming video.

"We currently offer the first episode of some television shows free with ads through our First Episode Free feature on Amazon Instant Video, and there are display ads on some short videos such as movie and game trailers," an Amazon spokesman said in a statement. "We're often experimenting with new offers and experiences for customers, but we have not announced any plans to offer an ad-supported video streaming service."

Despite Amazon's denials, the New York Post spoke to another source earlier this week that confirmed such a service was in the works. It would likely cost less than the current base price charged by rival Netflix, and would ultimately be designed to entice customers to sign up to a full Prime subscription. "The main point is to bring in more users that you can eventually up-sell to Prime, or to get to a broader audience that doesn’t want to pay for Prime, in order to increase their video share,” said a source speaking to the paper.

Naturally there's still no official word from Amazon, and until it confirms or denies the rumour we're left guessing as to a launch date and price. According to the latest report though, the company is on track to launch the service by summer 2015.

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