Amazon is reportedly working on free ad-supported version of Prime Video

The rumors of Amazon releasing a free ad-supported video streaming service have been around for at least 3 years and now they’re being refreshed once again. According to sources who spoke with AdAge, Amazon is actively talking with “TV networks, movie studios, and other media companies” to procure content for a new free streaming service to compliment Prime Video.

Amazon technically already has a free ad-supported video streaming service. They launched Amazon Video Direct last year which allows content creators to make their movies and TV shows available on Amazon Video for free with ads, among other monetization choices. However, it doesn’t seem like the service has taken off with content creators.

Instead of just relying on content creators to come to Amazon, the new free streaming service relies on Amazon actively making deals for content. Those deals may include sharing audience information, in addition to ad revenue, with content providers. There’s even mention of paying creatures for the number of hours people watch their content, which is similar to the YouTube Red model. This would be the first time Amazon applied such a model to watching video, but they’ve used the model in the past with their Amazon Underground appstore and currently use the model to pay Alexa skill developers.

Amazon has also been rumored to release an OTT cable video service, similar to Sling TV and Playstation Vue, so this ad-supported service may be a part of that service as well. The report says that Amazon “is talking about giving content creators their own channels,” which would fit right in with an OTT video service. This would allow Amazon to provide free ad-supported channels in their own OTT video service in addition to traditional paid networks.


An Amazon spokesperson has reached out to me stating that “We have no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video.”

  1. TechyChris says:

    Another nail in the coffin for the Cable TV Companies!
    I hope it works out.

    • JAMES JOHANSON says:

      It’s just becoming the new cable tv, no different.

      • Keith says:

        Exhibit A.YouTube TV!
        All the stations you left behind when you cut the cord have come back even though you really didn’t miss them.

      • TechyChris says:

        I was actually referring to overpriced long term commitment contracts that cable tv companies force upon consumers… not the actual content.

        • clocks says:

          But most these streaming packages are not much cheaper than cable TV. They range from $20-$45 or so. I want a package with FX, AMC, maybe a couple others for $10 or so.

          For instance Sling is the cheapest at $20, but you still have to pya for ESPN or Fox SPorts. And they keep adding channels to the package. Rather than adding more crap channels that no one watches, I’d rather they find a way to make it $15, or $10.

  2. Scott says:

    Has there been any update on when Amazon will release Prime Video for Apple TV?

  3. jimberkas says:

    maybe this will push amazon to kiss and make us with google and get their video app on Google Play.

  4. clint says:

    now i have read that they are denying this report.
    i guess they were going to have ads within shows? b/c amazon prime already has ads on the interface =/

    ps. i also read they killed an idea where they were trying to come up with a bundled tv offering.

  5. Eric says:

    How horrible. People sell their most precious thing out for cents. Their life.

    What does a full prime subscription cost you? Here in germany I pay 68 € (students pay even less, 34 €) – per year. That is about 5,66 € per month. Which is almost “nothing”. You get one danish and a small coffee in a paper cup at the gas station for that kind of money. And besides prime video it brings you free prime shipping, prime music, prime photo storage, prime kindle library and so on. A total no brainer.

    How little can one value their own, limited lifespan, when they rather save that little money PER MONTH on a prime subscription and tolerate any sort of commercial instead. “This is a minute I won’t get back”.

    The whole concept of old folks “broadcast television” is just dead for me and everybody I know. I’d rather just quit watching tv altogether, before I go back to the way it was a few years before, with all that loud, annoying, pain in the ass advertizing.

    PS: you can even share your prime subscription with family, so split those 5,66 €/month in two, that makes 9-10 cents per day. Why is this even discussed?!

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