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November 14, 2017

Amazon Considers Free, Ad-Supported Version Of Prime Video

If you’re a movie and TV fan, you’re probably racking up tons of monthly fees for subscribing to all the streaming services you need. There’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access, HBO (if you’re not lucky enough to snag a password), and whatever new service was launched today. These all add up quite a bit, and now customers are having to get a little pickier with what services they purchase. Amazon knows that attracting new customers is a key priority, and they have a plan.

According to Ad Age, Amazon is looking to start an ad-supported free version of their Prime Video offering. Currently, Amazon is in a war with Netflix, snatching up festival films and developing interesting new television content, and they’re hoping they can lure in new customers with a “free” version of their service. However, this free version comes with a catch.

Think of the ad-supported version as Prime Video-lite. The idea being that Amazon can negotiate with studios and networks and license out some of their back catalog for this new service. Sorry, but it doesn’t seem like they’re just going to give away Prime Video with commercials. This will be a new service, with older content, but with commercials to help gain revenue for Amazon and the studios/networks.

By offering some “free” content to potential users, Amazon hopes to convert these viewers into Prime members. And as any Prime member will tell you, once you go Prime, you never go back. Come on, free shipping and “Transparent,” “Man in the High Castle,” and films like “Manchester by the Sea”? It’s a pretty solid deal.

In an age when audiences are becoming more discerning about their spending habits, movie studios, TV networks, and of course, streaming services are all figuring out how to stay afloat. Odds are this new initiative by Amazon is just the start, and other companies will have to come up with ways to keep up.

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