Something to look forward to: Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch a free video service for owners of its Fire TV dongles and set-top boxes. The new product will be ad-supported and is being developed by the tech giant's IMDB subsidiary.
The new Fire TV service, which could be named Free Dive, isn't a free version of Amazon Prime Video, which offers a host of original content, along with many licensed TV shows and movies, for a subscription fee.
According to The Information, which cites people familiar with the matter, Free Dive is likely to feature older television programs. Amazon is reportedly trying to secure licensing deals with the big studios to secure content for the new project, and while it will be different from Prime Video, there may be cases where the same shows appear on both services.
Amazon is bringing in extra ad revenue through ad-supported shows on IMDB and more video ads on Twitch, which it also owns. Ad sales make up most of the "other" segment in Amazon's earnings report, which grew 132 percent to $2.2 billion in Q2 2018. The company is predicted to generate $8 billion from this category throughout the whole of 2018.
While Amazon Prime Video is seen as a direct rival to Netflix, Free Dive will compete with Roku's ad-supported service, The Roku Channel, which is now available online and via mobile, meaning you don't need Roku hardware to access it. With Roku's offering expected to reach 59 million people this year, you can see why Amazon wants to introduce something similar.