Ad Age reports Amazon is working on a free, ad-supported version of its popular Amazon Prime Video streaming service. The free version will be available in addition to the ad-free version of the streaming video service, which is included with the online merchant’s $99 per year Amazon Prime subscription, which also offers free shipping, special deals, music streaming, and more.
Amazon is developing a free, ad-supported complement to its Prime streaming video service, according to people familiar with its plans. The company is talking with TV networks, movie studios and other media companies about providing programming to the service, they say.
Amazon Prime subscribers pay $99 per year for free shipping but also access to a mix of ad-free TV shows, movies and original series such as “Transparent” and “The Man in the High Castle.” It has dabbled in commercials on Prime to a very limited degree, putting ads inside National Football League games this season and offering smaller opportunities for brand integrations.
The report says Amazon is looking to draw from the back catalogs of television and movie studios, and is particularly interested in beefing-up its children’s programming. Other genres that might be a good fit for Prime Video include lifestyle, travel, cooking, and more.
The move comes as Apple is making its move into original programming. The Cupertino firm recently outbid Netflix for a new show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, which will delve into the lives of morning talk show hosts.
Wall Street analysts already expect Amazon to spend close to $5 billion on new content this year. The company recently moved its Amazon Studios operation from Santa Monica, California, to the Culver Studios lot in Los Angeles.