Amazon is readying an ad-supported freemium version of its Instant Video streaming service.
Details are thin on the ground at present but it’s expected that content wise, the free service will be identical to what you get from Prime Instant Video.
The only difference would be instead of paying £5.99/month or £79/year for access you’d have to sit through some adverts before tapping in to the latest episode of Alpha House or Mozart in the Jungle.
The New York Post broke the news that Amazon was working on a free service, rumoured since March, but now confirmed.
The paper quotes an unnamed Amazon source saying that the free service will be a hit with customers wary of monthly fees.
The source said: “Although it will be separate from Prime, the ad-supported service is ultimately a bid by Amazon to lure people to eventually pay up for Prime membership, said one ad source familiar with Amazon’s plans.
“The main point is to bring in more users that you can eventually up-sell to Prime, or to get to a broader audience that doesn’t want to pay for Prime, in order to increase their video share.”
For UK viewers, used to watching adverts on ITV Player, 4oD (soon to be renamed All 4) and Demand 5, the experience might not be that dramatically different. It depends on how frequent – and annoying – the adverts are and whether customers will be tempted to sign up for shows like Ripper Street, which will eventually make its way to the BBC anyway.