Amazon to Launch Free Video-on-Demand Service

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The Fire TV Stick is one of Amazon’s most popular devices. Originally released April 2014, this digital media player allows users to stream video content over the internet to their TV or display device. While the Fire TV Stick supports a variety of video-on-demand (VOD) apps — Neflix, SlingTV, Hulu and more — its catalog is about to get even bigger. According to The Verge, Amazon is planning to launch a new VOD service that’s free for Fire TV Stick owners.

Known as Free Dive, Amazon’s new VOD service will provide Fire TV Stick owners with thousands of hours of TV shows and movies. Of course, Amazon already offers Prime Video as a VOD service. Prime Video, however, requires an active Prime membership, which costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year, whereas Free Dive lives up to its namesake by offering free video content to Fire Stick owners, regardless of whether they have a Prime membership.

Amazon will likely still earn revenue from Free Dive. Rather than charging a monthly or annual fee for the service, the e-commerce company is expected to monetize Free Dive using ads. Reports show that Free Dive will include commercials by paid sponsors. At this time, however, it’s unknown how many commercials Free Dive will include or the length of those commercials.

Free Dive wouldn’t be the first ad-supported VOD service. Hulu currently offers two plan: a no-commercial plan and a limited-commercial plan. The former costs $11.99 per month while the latter costs $7.99 month. Both services play short commercials throughout movies and TV shows watched by the user.

Statistics show that more than 48 million people own a Fire TV Stick or other Fire TV device. Not everyone who owns a Fire TV device, though, has an active Prime membership. Free Drive will allow Amazon to reach these users while earning revenue through ad impressions in the process.

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