It's hard to believe that Amazon
came into this world selling books, and while that business still thrives in digital form (Amazon makes a killing off its Kindle devices), the online retail giant has big plans for streaming
video. With its Prime Instant Video service already in full swing and winning favor, Amazon has reportedly begun chatting with media companies about licensing TV channels.
The idea is to offer users a new online pay-TV option delivered through its Prime Instant Video service. It's a move that would allow Amazon to cash in on the customers who dropped their cable or satellite service, which is an increasingly popular trend with so many streaming options available (Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the list goes on). Likewise, this would give media companies a way to once again generate revenue from former cable and satellite customers.
Citing "people familiar with the matter," The Wall Street Journal
says Amazon has brought up the topic with at least three big media companies, though the online retailer issued a statement to the contrary.
"We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service," Amazon told WSJ
reports that not only have talks taken place, but that Amazon is also developing a set-top box to stream video, somewhat similar to the Roku player. If all this is true, one reason for Amazon's statement is that without a deal in place -- and there are no pending deals at this early stage -- no plans would exist, either. Media companies have been tough to crack in terms of licensing for streaming over the web, and Amazon may be reluctant to say anything that might put pressure on its potential licensing partners.