AMAZON IS upping the ante in the battle for the living rooms of the world, with rumours swirling of a free linear TV channel exclusive to Fire TV devices.
According to The Information, the new channel would be some sort of general entertainment channel, perhaps in the downtime of the increasing number of sports rights that Amazon now has.
The ad-supported service would be much like the Roku Channel which was launched last year for Roku box users (though not so far in the UK).
The story goes on to say that IMDB would take the reigns of the new channel, which would be a mixture of old movies and perhaps some second run content from Amazon Studios.
It’s not clear what the relationship between this live channel and the ever-growing library of on-demand content offered to Prime users. It may well be that this would be some sort of introductory channel to Fire TV users who have somehow managed to avoid a Prime subscription thus far.
It’s not a new idea. Sky has used Pick (formerly Sky 3) as a shop window for its paid services, offering it as a free-to-air service on Freeview and Freesat, but mostly through showing older programmes that have already been through the Sky 1 and Sky 2 process.
Virgin Media did something similar with FTN, also offering a budget entertainment showcase for its Flextech channels, now owned by Discovery.
Even ol’ Auntie has been there, with BBC Choice, the forerunner of BBC Three being largely a shop window for the main channels, offering repeats, library programming and behind the scenes shows for the corporation’s big hitters.
As for Amazon, there are subtle clues afoot that it plans to break into networked telly in some capacity. As well as all that lovely sport, there’s IMDB itself, which has added a lot more advertising to its content, and Twitch, which no longer offers an ad-free option, and has been dabbling in showing box sets, including cult-classics like Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting and pre-2005 Doctor Who. μ
Source : Inquirer