Amazon has sought a bigger share of online-streaming content and could gain ground with a key move this week. The e-commerce giant may announce a new service based on its Internet Movie Database (IMDB) brand, aimed at the free, ad-supported streaming market, according to CNBC.
The Information first learned about the service back in August, but it seems an announcement is imminent from Amazon. While Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service competes with Netflix, this new service is purportedly a new rival to Roku TV and Hulu. That means it will be free and will show ads during and between programming, unlike Prime Video.
The primary beneficiaries of this service will be owners of Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, per the Information’s report. Possibly called “Free Dive,” it would give the nearly 50 million Fire TV owners instant access to a selection of TV shows and movies that include commercials.
The service will be Amazon’s attempt to get a piece of the $70 billion TV ad market. Amazon already shows video ads on its Twitch video game streaming service and during NFL games streamed on Prime Video, but the new service will be built around ads.
Amazon has rapidly expanded its ad operation in recent years, with new projections putting it in third place behind Google and Facebook in digital advertising market share. However, it is a distant third place, as Google controls nearly 40 percent of the digital ad market, while Facebook owns roughly 20 percent. Amazon is far behind, at 4 percent.
The company could bring in even more ad revenue by offering a free streaming service to its Fire TV customer base. There is little information about what shows and movies the service will offer, but the Information reported Amazon was talking to “major studios” about offering old TV shows.
The number of streaming services from major companies has steadily risen over the years, with even more of them offering specialized selections for niche audiences. The recently launched DC Universe service lets DC Comics fans watch original superhero content as well as read digital comic books, for example.
Disney is set to launch its own service in the near future, as well.