Amazon Dismisses Reports Of A Free Prime Video Service

November 14, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Amazon on Tuesday denied reports that it’s developing a free counterpart to its Prime Video service meant to be supported by advertising, The Verge reports, citing an unnamed company spokesperson. The original claim of such a service being in the works was made by AdAge on Monday, with the outlet citing people familiar with the tech giant’s plans and extensively detailing the supposed service but without providing a specific time frame for its availability. Amazon’s denial appears to have been rather succinct but also straightforward, with the company directly stating that there are “no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video.”

While the Seattle, Washington-based tech giant may still be considering such a service, the wording of its denial makes that scenario unlikely. Amazon doesn’t have an extensive history of entertaining industry rumors about its operations to a large extent and it never outright dismissed any claims about its upcoming products that later proved to be correct. The publication that penned the original report on the supposed ad-supported Prime Video alternative is well-established in the marketing industry and thus an unlikely candidate for circulating an entirely unsubstantiated rumor, making the possibility that it was given old info about a scrapped project somewhat plausible.

The hypothetical free version of Prime Video also wouldn’t be in line with Amazon’s current strategy for the platform which largely sees it as a tool for attracting Prime subscribers with the ultimate goal of having more loyal customers spend money through its e-commerce platform after being drawn to do so by numerous benefits of the $99-a-year program like free two-day shipping and Prime Video itself. A free counterpart to such a service presumably wouldn’t be as capable of generating leads given how it likely wouldn’t come with any other Prime benefits attached, nor would it be able to generate significant revenue for a new-economy conglomerate the size of Amazon in any realistic scenario. Amazon has also been extremely reluctant to inject any kind of advertising into Prime Video, especially after spinning off the platform as a largely standalone service in numerous countries around the world, thus directly taking on on-demand video streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu.