There are many, many choices for an individual looking to start up a service for streaming video. You have Hulu Plus, Netflix, HBOGO, Amazon Prime with Instant Video, and more. They even have things like Crunchyroll which is like Netflix for Anime. It appears that people might have one more option to throw into the hat when deciding what service to pick that best fits their needs, as Amazon is reported to be launching an ad-supported, free streaming video service in the future. So in this case, think about the way that Hulu Plus works with their ad spots before and during every TV show episode you watch.
This is reported to be separate from the Amazon Prime Instant video service that costs subscribers $99 annually, but let’s not forget that this is Amazon, and they’re in the business of selling things. So expect them to do what they can to entice people into signing up for Amazon Prime. Even if that is their goal, having a free streaming video service just might convince some people to switch from competing services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, given that Amazon has enough content in their library for the free streaming videos service to keep people interested. Free or not, if there isn’t enough interesting programming to watch, customer will lose interest quickly.
What isn’t known at the moment because Amazon hasn’t made any of the details public yet, is what Amazon plans to do about the content they offer. Will they end up letting users access all of the same content that’s available in Prime just with ads? Or will they limit the content and only allow users of the free service a certain selection of videos? If they end up offering their entire library of content, than Netflix and Hulu have quite a competitor on their hands. At the moment there are no details on when Amazon plans to launch this service, with the holidays nearing people will have a lot of free time and free time can be spent watching videos, so having it launch soon seems like a good idea.