Watch Out, Netflix: Amazon may offer free Prime Instant Video service

Ad-funded future for Amazon?

Amazon is preparing a free ad-supported video streaming service to accompany Prime Instant Video according to the New York Post.

Although Amazon is yet to make anything approaching an official announcement, the New York Post claims the company is set to launch a free video streaming service, supported by adverts.

This would accompany Amazon's current offering Prime Instant Video, which comes as a package with a £79/$99 annual Prime membership, also getting you free delivery on Amazon's store.

While far from a certainty, it would be a clear way to combat the popularity of Netflix, which uses 35% of the US' total bandwidth at peak times.

Amazon Prime Instant Video, well, let's just say it doesn't use up anything like that.

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

The relative unpopularity of Prime Instant Video continues despite Amazon's use of Netflix-like tactics, including producing exclusive shows such as Alpha House, Transparent and Betas.

Amazon has retorted to these rumours saying it has "not announced any plans to offer an ad-supported video streaming service," but naturally this does not rule out such a move in the future.

Adding a free service would make Amazon's video offering one of the most diverse around, with free, paid-for and on-subscription content, potentially all being doled-out from the same platform.

Amazon hasn't announced the breadth of its Prime subscriber base, but as Instant Video is just a bonus feature, it is likely that a relatively small proportion actually watch the service regularly compared with Netflix subscribers.

via AJC