In yet another move that could bring it more squarely into competition with YouTube, Amazon is reportedly developing an ad-supported video service that would function as a free complement to its Prime Video subscription offering. Amazon Prime is currently priced at $99 annually, though a Prime Video subscription can be purchased for $8.99 per month.
Amazon is currently in talks with TV networks, movie studios, and other production outfits about their back catalogs for the forthcoming service, reports AdAge, and is particularly interested in kid-friendly content as well as lifestyle, travel, and cooking shows that could theoretically inspire shopping on its massive e-tail site.
The venture could potentially see Amazon giving publishers their own channels of sorts. And, in order to kickstart the initiative, Amazon may share both audience metrics as well as ad revenues with content creators. Payment could correspond with the number of hours of content consumed on a particular channel on a weekly basis, according to AdAge.
At the same time, Amazon has continued to hone its ad offer, including letting brands pay for videos on their product pages and serving ads outside the confines of Amazon.com. Last month, reports surfaced that Amazon was developing a program that would pair video creators and marketers to create sponsored content, and also seeking to implement new tech to prevent ads from running against inappropriate content — presumably in hopes of avoiding an ‘Adpocalypse‘-like scenario.
Amazon’s video division, which lost several top execs on the heels of sexual harassment allegations against Studio head Roy Price last month, is expected to spend $5 billion on content this year — including a just-announced Lord Of The Rings series adaptation. The company, which is also retooling its programming strategy toward shows with big names and a broader appeal, is currently moving its video headquarters to the iconic Culver Studios in Los Angeles.