Amazon aims for TV business with free video streaming: WSJ

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:26pm EDT

A parcel travels along a conveyer belt at Amazon's new distribution center in Brieselang, near Berlin November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

A parcel travels along a conveyer belt at Amazon's new distribution center in Brieselang, near Berlin November 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Online retailer Amazon.com Inc plans to enter the battle for living-room viewership in the coming months, launching a free, ad-supported streaming TV service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources.

Amazon is likely to stream original, self-produced TV series and perhaps licensed programming for free to viewers, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The newspaper said it was unclear how such a service would be delivered to consumers. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

Earlier on Thursday, Amazon said it will hold a press conference in New York on April 2, a rare move that comes amid rife speculation that it will unveil a streaming device, such as a set-top box, to rival the Apple TV and Google Chromcast.

Speculation is that Amazon is close to revealing a streaming device, a set-top box or a small plug-in device, or "dongle", that is similar to a USB memory stick, that can pipe video into the living room. It would compete with devices made by Apple, Google and U.S. television start-up Roku.

Peter Larsen, vice president of the company's Kindle division, will provide an update on Amazon's video business at its April 2 event, according to invitations sent out to the press on Thursday.

Technology blog Re/Code reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, that Amazon will launch a set-top box that connects televisions to the Internet.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Bernard Orr and David Gregorio)

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Comments (1)
TigByson wrote:
Ad based? Please NO! That’s Crackle and it’s a return to the old ways of awful legacy media.

Who needs their favorite television series interrupted with useless ads for the latest gas guzzling SUV, erectile dysfunction pills or your local mattress moron?

Mar 27, 2014 5:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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