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Amazon Plans Streaming Subscription Service

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That old pair of Roku and Netflix is being attacked from all sides today. Not only has Apple introduced a revised Apple TV that bears a strong resemblance to a Roku box, but Amazon in planning a service that sounds an awful lot Netflix's instant streaming.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is in talk with major media companies to develop a Web-based subscription entertainment service, meant to launch this holiday season. Like Netflix, the service will build a catalog of older movies and shows, which media companies are less concerned about making available online.

Also like Netflix, the service would be available online or through a variety of television-connected devices, such as game consoles and Blu-ray players.

Amazon already has a presence in the streaming world, with its Video on Demand service, formerly Unbox. This would be Amazon's first subscription video service.

As the Journal notes, however, the launch of such a service is still tentative, and it could be shelved if Amazon can't find enough content partners. To guarantee a large body of viewers from the start, Amazon is considering offering subscriptions at no extra charge to Amazon Prime subscribers, said one person familiar with the negotiations.

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