Amazon Denies Report Of Free Video, Music Streaming Service

We're just hoping that next week's big announcement is a Kindle that only shows video of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 24/7.

We’re just hoping that next week’s big announcement is a Kindle that only shows video of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 24/7.

The Internet has been buzzing since yesterday afternoon with all manner of speculation about what streaming video thingamajig Amazon plans to unveil next week. The report that has gotten the most traction is the one that is the least interesting — that Amazon would be launching a free, but ad-sponsored, streaming service. Most companies are fine with letting the media have fun guessing what’s behind the curtain, but Amazon apparently thought this was such a dumb idea that it felt compelled to deny the rumor.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that, in addition to the expected set-top box (or possibly a dongle) that allows users to stream Amazon and other services to their TVs, Amazon would be announcing a service that streams video and music to users without a monthly fee. The service would be paid for by the interstitial ads we all have come to know and hate while watching videos online on network sites or places like Hulu or Sony’s Crackle.

Which is exactly why this struck us as an idiotic idea that didn’t merit writing about. Advertisers have still not rushed to flood the online video space, as you can tell by the fact that you’ll see the same five commercials repeating over and over again during any online watching of a network show, so why would Amazon be rushing into the business?

The Journal’s sources had claimed that this was an effort to boost Amazon’s relatively new online ad business, which currently allows it to offer free episodes of shows it sells and rents, and places ads around movie trailers and video game previews.

But a rep for Amazon tells Reuters that this is enough for them right now.

“[W]e’re often experimenting with new things,” explained the rep. “But we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service.”

So it’s back to the speculation board…

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