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Amazon working on free streaming service for Fire TV devices

2018-08-29 17:23 by
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Amazon is working on a free ad-supported video service that would be available to users of its Fire TV devices. The service will be called Free Dive and is being developed by the company's IMDB subsidiary. It will be available to the 48 million people who own Amazon Fire TV devices, including HDMI dongles made by Amazon or its Alexa-powered Fire Cubes.

Free Dive will likely feature older TV shows and Amazon is currently in talks with multiple major studios such as Sony to acquire online film rights.

The new service will most likely function separately from Amazon's Prime Video streaming service and will include a different selection of content from the company’s primary online streaming platform.

While Amazon Prime Video is seen as a direct rival to Netflix, Free Dive will compete with Roku's ad-supported service, The Roku Channel, which is now available online and via mobile, meaning you don’t need Roku hardware to access it. With Roku's offering expected to reach 59 million people this year, it's clear why Amazon wants to introduce something similar.

Advertising has quietly become reliable area of growth for Amazon in recent years. The company's "other" revenue segment, which mostly comes from ad revenue, grew by 132% in the second quarter from a year earlier to $2.2 billion.

"It's now a multi-billion dollar business for us," Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said during the company's most recent earnings call. "We're seeing strong adoption across a number of fronts—Amazon vendors, sellers, authors as well as third-party advertisers who want to reach Amazon customers."

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