As early as 2015, Amazon was rumored to be planning a live TV streaming service to compete with the likes of Sling TV and others, and was even said to be in talks with AMC and ESPN last year. This might have been a boon for Prime Video customers, but it appears we’ll never know, as those plans have now been dropped, Reuters reports.
The reason is simple: Amazon doesn’t believe that this type of service would be profitable enough to pursue. This makes sense in an increasingly crowded live TV streaming market. While Sling TV and PlayStation Vue would have been the service’s only competition when these rumored plans were in their infancy, those services have since been joined by offerings from YouTube, Hulu, DirecTV, and more.
Amazon was also reportedly unable to convince a sufficient number of broadcasters to join its Amazon Channels programming, which offers a la carte pricing for channels including HBO and Showtime, as well as a number of niche channels. Whether this was key to the company’s vision of a live streaming service is left for us to guess.
This isn’t the only rumored video offering from Amazon to be dismissed this week. Rumors of a free, ad-supported version of the company’s Prime video were floated earlier this week, but the company was quick to dismiss them, telling The Verge that the has no plans to create such a service.
Instead of offering content from other companies, Amazon seems intent on building its catalog of original content. The company recently announced that it had acquired the television rights for The Lord of The Rings, and has plans to develop a prequel series lasting multiple seasons. The fantasy setting may give the company a chance at capturing a Game of Thrones-level hit alongside its other well-received series like Transparent and The Man in The High Castle.
We’ll likely never know how Amazon’s rumored service may have differed from its competition, as the company has yet to publicly comment on the rumored streaming service or its reported demise. Fortunately there are still quite a few streaming services to choose from, each of which offers its own unique take on the basic idea.
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