Amazon Planning Free TV, Music Service: WSJ

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Amazon (AMZN) is preparing to offer a free streaming TV and music service, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

That service might be an attempt by Amazon to leverage the advertising potential of its ubiquitous website and indicates a departure in strategy for Amazon, which currently bundles a Netflix (NFLX)-like offering into its $99-a-year Prime service.

Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

The WSJ reports that Amazon's free, ad-supported service could be launched in the next few months and would include original series and licensed programming. After the runaway success of Netflix's House of Cards, Amazon began to make its own original series. Still, the company has disclosed few financial results from its push into streaming media. Amazon's music service would likely compete more closely to Pandora (P) and would use the company's prolific web site for ad placement, the WSJ reported.

A successful rollout might indicate Amazon is interested in building an advertising business to complement its ubiquitous online marketplace. Adding a free streaming service, however, would increase the number of projects that Amazon is in the midst of rolling out.

Amazon continues to market its Kindle Fire tablets that compete against tech giants like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT). Meanwhile, Amazon continues to invest in projects like Prime, which may be cutting into overall profitability.

Shares in the Jeff Bezos-run company fell over 1% in Thursday trading, closing at $338.47.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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