Amazon wants to expand its Instant Video service beyond just individual shows and movies, allowing customers to subscribe to current content from popular television networks and movie channels, reports indicate.
The news follows rumors in October that suggest the company aims to launch live TV programming as soon as possible, a big move away from its current business model which primarily focuses on past seasons of popular television shows and older movies.
The report, which first appeared on Bloomberg Friday, seems to confirm these earlier rumors. Amazon will develop landing pages for the networks similar to what we see in services like iTunes, and allow Prime subscribers to add them in addition to their standard Prime subscriptions.
Another effort focuses on allowing Prime users to enter Amazon credentials to log into other streaming services, Bloomberg adds.
Why this matters: Amazon has focused heavily on its Prime Instant Video service this year, beefing up content offerings and its own produced shows. It’s seen critical acclaim for original shows like the alternative history thriller The Man in the High Castle; however there is still a good deal of demand for traditional shows and movies, and up until now Amazon’s offering has felt a little bit dated—often a season or more behind.
Is Amazon trying to beat Apple to the punch?
The offering may launch as early as next month, and subscribers would add the new content channels either on an a la carte basis or through prepackaged bundles that Amazon puts together. This rush to launch may be a nod to the increasing competition it’s seeing from a chief rival in the space.
Apple is reportedly close to a video service of it’s own, with reports suggesting it may go live as early as 2016. Getting the necessary agreements in place to actually launch the service with a live television component, however, has proven to be tough for the Cupertino company.
Bloomberg reported in August that discussions with content providers had all but stalled over disagreements in pricing and terms. It is not clear if Amazon is having any better success in getting the go-ahead from the networks, but the efforts to at least bring more current content to Prime Instant Video suggest they may be having some success.
The live television component of Amazon’s planned video offerings is said to be separate from the new content partnerships, but it seems likely that any new service for Prime Instant Video would be built so that live television from those content partners could be easily integrated.
TechHive has reached out to Amazon for comment on this story; Bloomberg wrote that the company had declined comment on its own findings earlier Friday.