Amazon Plans Streaming Subscription Service
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.
Leaked details show that Amazon will challenge Netflix with its own all-you-can-stream online video service. The offering will be built on Amazon Prime, so subscribers will also gain free two-day shipping on purchases.
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