(Adds details from WSJ story)
SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 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
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