Though the Wall Street Journal reported this week that Amazon may be developing a free, ad-supported video- and music-streaming service, a spokeswoman for the media giant straightforwardly rejected the theory on Thursday.
“We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service,” Amazon spokeswoman Sally Fouts told Variety.
According to the Journal, “people close to the company” suggested the potential service could launch as soon as this summer with both original and syndicated content. In addition to TV and movies, music videos would allegedly be part of the service, accompanying site searches made by people visiting Amazon; for example, you might be presented with the option to watch a David Bowie music video while scanning the site for a Ziggy Stardust t-shirt.
It seems that Amazon has been finding a way to work its way into headlines just about every day this year. Just this week the company invited media outlets to New York on April 2 for an “update” on its video business. Insiders speculate that Amazon will unveil a much-anticipated set-top box that’s been in the works for the last year or so. For a few months now, Amazon has also been in “serious talks” over a new Spotify-like music-streaming expansion within its Prime service, which might have had something to do with the recent and controversial hike in Prime fees.
While Amazon has specifically ruled out a totally free service, we wouldn’t be surprised to see changes to its Prime streaming service, or other new features roll out with its set-top box next month. Check back with us for updates as these stories unfold.