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Amazon Developing a Free, Ad-Supported Version of Prime Video: Report (adage.com) 74

Amazon is developing a free, ad-supported complement to its Prime streaming video service, AdAge reported on Monday, citing people familiar with Amazon's plans. From the report: The company is talking with TV networks, movie studios and other media companies about providing programming to the service, they say. Amazon Prime subscribers pay $99 per year for free shipping but also access to a mix of ad-free TV shows, movies and original series such as "Transparent" and "The Man in the High Castle." It has dabbled in commercials on Prime to a very limited degree, putting ads inside National Football League games this season and offering smaller opportunities for brand integrations. A version paid for by advertisers instead of subscribers could provide a new foothold in streaming video for marketers, whose opportunities to run commercials are eroding as audiences drift away from traditional TV and toward ad-free services like Netflix and Prime.

Amazon Developing a Free, Ad-Supported Version of Prime Video: Report

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  • Bad Idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    I consume probably over $300/month on average from Amazon Video (not accounting for the Prime membership) because I sit at the computer programming most of the day and can put it on a monitor on the side. If I had to have ads playing during shows/movies that would drop to $0/month. I'd prefer getting DVDs for series off of eBay or just not watching anything than sit through marketing filth and allowing it to influence my thoughts in any way.
    • The title itself specifies Ad-supported version of Prime Video, no need to go into panic mode.

      • That's how it starts, but if you give filthy marketing types an inch they'll never give it back and demand another.
        • So you'll happily sit there and suck down masses of entertainment by paying for Prime, but if they want to provide video at no monetary cost to the viewer, they're despicable. (ie: fuck the people who can't afford Prime)
          • Re:Bad Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples.gmail@com> on Monday November 13, 2017 @11:44AM (#55540743) Homepage Journal

            Cable television used to be ad-free. Eventually most basic cable networks in the United States introduced ads, on ostensible grounds that neither ads alone nor the retransmission royalty alone could fully fund the production of video works with the quality that subscribers expect. I suspect that NicknameUnavailable's fear is that if the ads on free Prime Video become acceptable, paid Prime Video will end up with ads as well.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Cable television used to be ad-free.

              Cable-television used to be a way for people in locations that couldn't get clear reception to receive signals by combining their resources.

              Eventually most basic cable networks in the United States introduced ads, on ostensible grounds that neither ads alone nor the retransmission royalty alone could fully fund the production of video works with the quality that subscribers expect.

              WTCG the first basic Cable Network started off with ads. This is the network now known as TBS. The second Cable Network was a Christian religious network, I'm not sure when it had ads, but then again, its origins are a bit off the marketing norm.

              HBO, a premium network, is still ostensibly ad-free, though it does obviously promote its own content.

              What's the problem?

              I suspect that NicknameUnavailable's fear is that if the ads on free Prime Video become acceptable, paid Prime Video will end up with ads as well.

              Th

            • I suspect that NicknameUnavailable's fear is that if the ads on free Prime Video become acceptable, paid Prime Video will end up with ads as well.

              Then all he'll have to do is sign up for Amazon Prime Squared Video.

            • Cable television used to be ad-free.

              WRONG. Cable TV was a way to get OTA to areas that couldn't get OTA.

              • You are correct that community antenna television (CATV) began by retransmitting the OTA channels. But to me, CATV became "cable" (multichannel pay TV) when CATV operators added channels other than OTA.

                • BTW, I wasn't trying to be quite so snide as it sounded.

                  I live in Silicon Valley, and originally got cable *for* the OTA stations, because different transmitters were 180 degrees apart, so it was difficult to do unattended recording. (I still watch mostly OTA,with some cable channel shows mixed in..)

          • A) Ads decrease the run length of shows regardless of whether or not they have ads because content producers tend to tune the length to match.
            B) Ads change the presentation of a show because content producers need to insert a stopping point every 10 minutes which detracts from the content.
            C) Ads will creep into paid content, just as they did on Cable.
            D) Ads are designed to influence your thoughts and get you to do things you wouldn't otherwise, be it buying stupid shit to deflate your bank account or vot
          • If you honestly can't afford $99/year, then you shouldn't even be online. You should take your very small income and spend it on food and clothing. Give me a break!
      • The summary makes it sound like there's some sort of ad-related incrementalism going on with NFL broadcasts. To clarify for the many people who have never watched an NFL broadcast in your life, the game is regularly interrupted for both normal and artificial reasons, during which advertisements are played. So, when streaming an NFL game live, it would be rather idiotic to fill the stream with empty space instead of playing an advertisement. And in fact, on one occasion, I actually saw that happen, presum

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      You're bothered by marketing, but you spend money with Amazon? That's a strange decision.
    • This is interesting. I rarely use amazon prime video even though I am a member.

      Has it gotten easier to sort through the stuff included with prime and what is not (in other words, is there a filter to show me only prime videos?)

      • Yep, just type in "Prime Video" in the search box, which takes you to the "Included With Prime" category filter. For the Xbox One app which I use, there's a category for Prime Videos for easy browsing as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Your best viewing experience will be on a Fire HD 10 [amazon.com] tablet.

  • i don't want ads. I pay what Prime costs for fast shipping, the music service and ad free video. if video gets ads on the paid tier, Ill go elsewhere.

  • So can they do the free shipping thing too? Amazon can chuck a few flyers in the box with your stuff.
  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @12:02PM (#55540847) Journal
    That's what this is: basically cable TV. You may be getting the content for 'free', but there are commercials, so it's not really 'free', and you have to pay monthly for your broadband internet access (which comes in over a CABLE of some kind, one way or the other) -- so it's essentially cable TV. Gotcha. Is Comcast behind this?

    I'll stick with the antenna on my roof, DVR, and DVDs.
    • Seriously?

      The cable bill is going to someone else so not at all like cable TV.

      By your logic, Prime video and Netflix are already cable TV but premium channels.

      • They are. :-) You're just trading one cable for another cable, and in most cases you're probably still paying your money for internet access to the same company you were paying for cable TV before you 'cut the cord'. The only way you really 'cut the cord' is to put an antenna on your roof and watch free OTA broadcast TV.
  • Success? That all depends on whether it comes with the "skip button" enabled or not.

    The only reason I own a Tivo if for the skip/ff button feature. Even though it only skips N-seconds rather than N-commercials it still works reasonably well enough that I don't stop watching altogether. I never watch anything live, because then I can't skip or fast forward past the social cancer they call advertising.

    • by hAckz0r ( 989977 )
      Forgot to mention, the Tivo implementation of fast forward for Amazon content is a non-starter. You can not see what you are skipping over, so you never know where to stop. Epic fail if I need to skip commercials. For now the prime video are commercialless, but that is bound to change when some exec starts to smell money.
    • Tivo has a wonderful feature for skipping ALL the commercial breaks. (At least for most prerecorded shows. Not for live shows like news and sports.)

      For shows that support commercial skip, when going to a commercial you'll hear a beep and see a little skip message pop up on screen for a few seconds. If you click the green button (I think ... don't have the remote in front of me) you'll skip the entire commercial block and jump right back to the next part of the show.

      That's one of the few reasons I keep Tivo.

      • I have never heard any beep, nor seen any popup. We apparently don't watch the same shows or you have a newer machine. As for the Amazon UI, skipping absolutely sucks without being able to see or hear what you are skipping over. I think the Youtube software is similar. All this is likely due to not storing/queing the stream locally to permit fast enough access to the video frame contents.
  • They already show an annoying ad, most of which can be skipped, for their own shows at the start of every damn video now. It's already annoying. Putting more on, even if free, is unacceptable. Commercials destroy the continuity of enjoying a movie or TV series.
  • Seems to me that the reason to want to move from conventional TV to streaming are precisely BECAUSE there are no adverts. It's not just the annoyance of watching the adverts themselves - it's more subtle than that:

    * With advertising, you can't be allowed to fast-forward at will because you'll be able to skip the adverts.
    * With advertising, the advertisers are the arbiters of whether a show is successful, not the audience.
    * With advertising, "binge watching" produces bad results for the advertisers because

  • Can't help but think this might have something to do with the model Apple has established with the Apple TV. Both Apple and Amazon have promised Amazon Video on Apple TV "this fall" (for the second year in a row). Apple's App Store model allows for free apps and subscription services, with a significant discount off the 30% "revenue sharing" for subs that last over a year. Producing a service like this would allow Amazon to much more easily bring in Amazon Video customers from Apple TV—they come in to

  • I will most definitely carry on paying $100 a year for not been subjected to commercials.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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