Amazon, the e-commerce giant that’s been known to sell just about anything, is said to be developing a new ad-supported streaming service that will accompany its current subscription video service, Amazon Prime Video. The rumors come from Adage who spoke to people familiar with the company’s plans. The company is talking with TV networks, movie studios and other media companies about providing programming to the service, according to the sources.
In addition to licensing content form big name studios, the company is considering “giving content creators their own channels,” according to one executive, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a project that Amazon has not announced. Amazon plans to share “ad revenue in exchange for a set number of hours of content each week.”
“Amazon is taking a smart approach,” one top ad agency executive told Adage. “The only way to strike these deals is to provide a revenue share and share data insights.”
[Update — Amazon has denied Adage’s report “We have no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video,” a spokesperson told VideoInk}
However, as Amazon seems to be struggling to make an impact in the SVOD landscape among competitors like Netflix and Hulu, this could be the company’s chance to deepen its roots in a more creator focused area like it has done in the past with Amazon Video Direct, which allowed just about anyone to make their content available to Prime Video subscribers and receive a per-hour royalty fee.
In addition to creator focused programming, Amazon supposedly plans to dive into back catalogs of TV and movie studios with the intention of beefing up its children’s programming. It is also going after lifestyle, travel, cooking and other shows that are a good fit for an e-commerce platform, according to the sources.
Amazon Prime subscribers pay $99 per year for free shipping and access to a mix of ad-free TV shows, movies and original programming such as “The Man in the High Castle.” In the past, the company has experimented with commercials on the platform to a very limited extent, such as placing ads inside National Football League games. There is no word yet on when the platform is expected to launch.