All signs point to Amazon revealing its set-top box in New York City next week, but that’s just one part of its massive media onslaught. According to a fresh report from the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant will eventually launch a free, ad-supported service that’ll allow its customers to stream television shows and music videos for the low, low price of $0. The caveat? It’s all ad-supported, so be prepared to let your eyes glaze over from time to time.
The big question here is how much content will be available gratis. Sources told the Journal that customers can likely access Amazon’s original series (think “Betas” and the like), with licensed content possibly coming down the road. Don’t expect too much crossover between whatever this is and Amazon’s existing Prime video service, though. It’s in the company’s best interest to save the good stuff for the folks who shell out $99 a year, if only because they wind up buying more than double what non-Prime customers do. One thing seems clear though: a free media service coupled with a (hopefully dirt cheap) streaming device that already plays nice with Netflix and Hulu could be the Trojan Horse Amazon needs to really give rivals something to worry about.