Amazon plots unlimited TV and movie streams
Amazon.com has approached media companies with a proposal for a subscription service that gives users unlimited access to television shows and movies over the internet.
The online retailer has approached media companies including Time Warner, CBS and Viacom, according to sources. It is still not clear if the media companies would agree to Amazon’s proposals which are still at an early stage, according to one person familiar with the talks.
Amazon’s US website already features a range of TV shows and movies in its video-on-demand section that are generally available for sale individually from $1.99.
But an Amazon subscription service would likely be similar to Netflix’s online streaming service, which works in tandem with its DVD rental business.
Like Netflix most of the TV shows and movies available for streaming would be older because the media companies are wary of devaluing their content, said the person familiar with the talks.
In at least one version of Amazon’s proposal, subscriptions could be bundled with its existing Amazon Prime service immediately, giving the service a large number of built-in subscribers. Prime is a service that offers members free two-day shipping on most Amazon purchases for $79 a year.
Amazon did not return calls seeking comment. CBS, Viacom Time Warner and NBC Universal declined to comment. There’s no indication that the service would be offered in the UK at this time.
Online TV business
The news comes as more companies try to boost their online TV businesses. Hollywood studios and media companies are vying to boost their online businesses, in part to stem online piracy of their content and also because of the higher margins they receive on digital sales.
Apple is expected to unveil the latest version of its Apple TV product later today. The new service is expected to offer TV shows for rent at 99 cents each.
Google has also been eyeing a TV or movie subscription service for its YouTube website. It has had ongoing conversations with several studios in the last year as well.
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