Amazon has their yearly subscription service called Amazon Prime that allowed them to earn a guaranteed amount of money each year from their subscribers. Unless you get a discount, this service costs $99 per year in USA; and in turn, gave you access to a lot of services including free two-day shipping, access to Amazon’s music and video streaming services, exclusively discounted Android smartphones and more. A report now claims that Amazon is currently working on a free, ad-supported version of their Amazon Prime Video service.
Amazon and Google have a complex relationship with each other since they compete in multiple technology segments. Amazon has prevented Google from selling certain products in its marketplace (such as Chromecast and Google Home) while Google makes sure Amazon strictly follows developer guidelines otherwise it disables access to their services. Amazon Prime Video is available in the Play Store but it has yet to support Google’s Chromecast technology and instead opts for Amazon’s own Fire TV Stick technology.
As it is now, you have to subscribe to Amazon Prime to get access to Amazon Prime Video. Video streaming services are becoming increasingly popular these days and Amazon wants to leverage ad sales so they can expand their video service beyond the paid tier.
We see this type of strategy quite a lot in the mobile application and game segment. The popular game Flappy Bird was making a Vietnamese video game developer thousands of dollars every day from ads alone. Amazon’s marketplace is used by millions of people and allowing everyone access to ad-supported versions of the videos available in the Prime Video catalog would be a huge move towards the popularity of the video service. AdAge cites “people familiar with [Amazon’s] plans” in their report and says the company is even talking to TV networks, movie studios and other media companies about providing programming to the service.