“We have no plans to offer a free streaming media service,” a rep tells TheWrap
Amazon isn't looking to let go of its paid Prime service, despite a report saying that the company is considering a transition to a free ad-supported service.
“We have a video advertising business that currently offers programs like First Episode Free and ads associated with movie and game trailers,” a company representative told TheWrap. ”And we're often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service.”
Also read: Amazon Prime Prices Increase for First Time
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Amazon's move would be part of the company's desire to compete as an actual multimedia company like Hulu and Netflix.
By dropping its $99 per year Amazon Prime membership, which gives members free shipping on retail items and unlimited access to its streaming video service, WSJ's sources said Amazon's free television and music video service would be supported by advertising. According to the report, the shift would take place sometime in the next couple months.
Similar to Hulu and Netflix, Amazon has produced original series. But, it conducts a unique greenlight process that allows its members to provide feedback on the pilots and thus influence whether Amazon will order them to series.
For the first time since launching nine years ago, the company announced it was raising its prices for Amazon Prime earlier this month. The subscription service will charge customers $99 per year to renew, as opposed to $79. Amazon student member rates will increase $10, to $49. Membership fees will remain $299.