Despite already having an entry in the streaming video sector, Amazon is reportedly looking to build a standalone streaming service in association with Viacom. Amazon currently offers streaming video as part of its $79 Amazon Prime program, but is evidently looking to broaden its reach and to directly contend with the likes of Netflix and Hulu.
Considering Amazon's extensive investments over the past quarter, it is unsurprising that we are beginning to see the fruits of such expenditure. Amazon has adopted a thoroughly media-centric stance, and has demonstrated awareness of the importance of a broad ecosystem. The Kindle Fire, Amazon's affordable tablet, is designed with the sole aim of furthering content consumption from Amazon's media library, thereby accounting for the loss induced by the low price of the tablet. At the moment, without a Prime membership, consumer options are somewhat more stifled for streaming media from the tablet.
As such, Amazon's move makes sense and is strengthened by its already standing media deals. By aligning itself with Viacom, Amazon has a chance at offering an extensive library right out of the gate. Reuters reports:
Viacom, which owns TV shows and movies from MTV Networks, Nickelodeon and Paramount Studios, would be the latest of several partners Amazon has made deals with for its Prime Instant Video service. So far, major studios such as CBS Corp, Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros, News Corp's Fox, Sony Corp, Comcast Corp's NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co have licensed programming to the retailer.
Also worth noting is the fact that Amazon already owns and maintains a streaming video service in the United Kingdom, LoveFilm. Following Netflix's threadbare launch in the region, LoveFilm's extensive library has been looked upon kindly by those interested in streaming media, and has potentially given Amazon further fuel for bringing such a service to the US.
Although there is no hint at original content, unlike Redbox and Verizon's announcement earlier this week, Amazon has extensive media deals already in place, thereby contributing an air of legitimacy to its motives.
Honestly, from my perspective, Amazon clearly has a masterful comprehension of the modern technology marketplace. From its launch of an affordable tablet to its Prime program, Amazon has demonstrated a repeated willingness to modernize and intelligently innovate. If anyone can challenge Netflix's dominance in the streaming arena, it's Amazon.
The official reveal of the service seems set for this week following hints from Viacom CEO, Philippe Dauman.