Despite online rumors to the contrary, Amazon (AMZN) on Friday announced that it would not offer free streaming media service.
A report in the Wall Street Journal stated that Amazon was considering an ad-supported streaming TV and music video service. The story came after AMZN sent reporters an invitation to hear about its video business.
The newspaper stated that “Amazon also plans to offer free music videos with advertising to people visiting its retail website, two of the people said. A search for Bruce Springsteen CDs, for example, might yield an option to watch the “Born in the U.S.A.” video.”
Not so, said Amazon, which got ahead of the chatter and shut down the idea of a free service.
The idea would have been a smart one for the company, though the online retailer could have figured it was too little, too late. Google’s YouTube and Netflix are lightyears ahead in streaming music and online video and connection to advertisers, with TV advertising expected to generate $68.5 billion in the U.S. this year.
At the same time, AMZN is banking of making available TV shows and movies to customers who pay the now-$99 a year for Amazon Prime.
Members receive access to content such as including original TV series such as “Betas” and “Alpha House.”
AMZN stock is down 15% year to date.