Amazon Planning A Free, Ad-Support Video Streaming Service

Jeff Bezos Launches Bezos Center For Innovation In Seattle

Amazon is planning to release a free video streaming service, Greg Bensinger at the Wall Street Journal reports.

The video service will focus on television shows, making this an attack on traditional TV, as well as Hulu and Netflix, which both stream TV shows.

It will also have music videos, Bensinger reports.

This is a major strategic change for Amazon. Previously, to watch video on on Amazon, it required a $US99 a year for Prime.

This sounds like one of those things that is radical, but the business model is an old one. It sounds like Amazon is launching its own broadcast TV network — it just happens to run through the Internet.

Bensinger says the bulk of Amazon’s free service with be original Amazon shows like “Betas.” It could also have some syndicated shows as well. Amazon’s shows have not been as well received as Netflix’s shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

Still, it would be silly to dismiss this as normal. This could serve as the start of a major disruption to the traditional TV business. If Amazon is successful, then expect Google, and Netflix, and others to follow.

The dream of breaking up the bundle of expensive pay-TV packages is a tiny bit closer to reality.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.