Amazon is denying they will do this, but that’s what big companies do in these situations. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is looking at a FREE streaming service of licensed and original content that will be advertiser-based. In other words, the service will be available to everyone for free and monetized with commercial advertising.
The concept isn’t anything new. Streaming services like Crackle are already free and offer older movies and real old television shows. Hulu-plus has commercials and much newer content but also charges a monthly fee (which is why we cancelled — screw that).
If Amazon can do this right, and Amazon pretty much does everything right, it could be a major move towards where I have always believed Streaming was headed.
Sure, there will always be a Netflix that charges you a monthly fee for ad-free content. But there is just no way Streaming is going to leave behind tens-of-billions in annual advertising revenue. I have always believed, that once all of this shakes itself out, advertisers are going to learn to embrace and love Streaming for one very big reason: Viewers can be stopped from fast-forwarding through commercials.
It has to drive advertisers insane knowing how many of us zip through their ads via DVR. The first time I watched an online video and was forced to sit through an ad that could not be fast-forwarded, I knew this was something advertisers would embrace. If you watch Crackle or any free streaming channel, just like regular TV, the programming is interrupted every ten minutes or so with a few commercials THAT YOU CANNOT ZIP THROUGH.
How can this not be the future?
The over-arching news here is a powerhouse like Amazon competing with broadcast and cable networks for advertising dollars. Bundled cable is already losing the fight for subscription dollars.
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