Amazon is planning a new video app for its Fire TV devices, including the Rs 3,999 Amazon Fire TV Stick, which will be ad-supported, rather than a subscription-based platform. The report by The Information suggests that the platform will exist alongside Amazon Prime Video, which is the company’s current subscription-based video-on-demand service.
According to the report, the new service has been tentatively named Free Dive, suggesting that it will not have any subscription fees to access. Much of Amazon’s video content may be made available on the service, but users will have to watch ads in order to receive this free access to content that is otherwise provided at a premium.
Amazon is looking at ways to increase its identity as an ad platform, considering the number of users it has as a captive audience. Selling ads is a highly lucrative field, and one that has seen companies such as Facebook and Google grow rapidly, by leveraging their traffic flow. Revenue from ad sales fetched Amazon $2.2 billion in the last quarter, and selling ads on its video platform could help it grow that number.
The new service is likely to initially roll-out for Fire TV devices, which includes the Fire TV Stick that sells in India for Rs 3,999. The streaming stick allows users to access online content directly on a non-smart TV through the HDMI port, and competes with the similarly-priced Google Chromecast in India.
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Amazon Prime Video is already available on the Fire TV platform, as well as on various other smart TV and mobile operating systems. However, it is a paid service as part of the Amazon Prime suite, which has a subscription fee of Rs 999 per year or Rs 129 per month in India. The free service will likely attract more subscribers to its services, which competes with video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Hotstar in the country.