Curses! Following recent rumours that Amazon was planning to launch its own advertising-filled TV streaming service – free to users, of course – we were starting to make a list of programmes we'd love to see featured on AmazonTV (or whatever they would eventually call it).
But shortly after the Wall Street Journal released its report, where unnamed sources claimed that Amazon's service would launch in a few months and be completely and totally free for users to view, Amazon came back with a quick denial that it had any intent to build an ad-supported TV streaming platform.
"We're often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service," said an Amazon spokesperson.
Amazon had allegedly offered up details about the service to potential partners, hence the hubbub over its likely and imminent launch. However, said sources also cautioned that Amazon could scrap or delay the project at any point – if it even exists in the first place, which is now a bit more up in the air than before.
Amazon had allegedly been discussing the rumoured service with the creators of "Betas," a series on Silicon Valley startup culture that the company co-produced last year.
It's unlikely that Amazon will pick up the show for a second season but, as the rumours go, Amazon was allegedly looking to possibly slot Betas onto said ad-supported video service.
That all said, the launch of a free, ad-supported service would run contrary to Amazon's goals of getting as many users signed up for its £60-yearly Prime service. Not only do the shipping deals serve as an incentive for those to sign on board, but access to the company's existing streaming service – including exclusive programming like Betas and other shows that the company greenlights for production – are a few extra carrots that Amazon dangles over the head of potential Prime purchasers.
And once users go Prime, there's a greater likelihood that they're willing to purchase more from Amazon — and Amazon exclusively — than they otherwise might.
An advertising-supported online streaming service might generate a not-so-insignificant amount of cash for Amazon, which is already slowly building out its own "sleeping giant" Amazon Advertising Platform, but it's unclear just how that might align with the company's Prime service and its rumoured streaming video device, which is said to be debuting next week.