Amazon Has No Plans to Offer Free Streaming Video

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) currently has no plans to offer a free streaming media service, the company said in an email to TheStreet. That tempers speculation the online retailing giant is in the process of converting its Prime video subscriptions to a free, ad-supported model while also offering a Pandora (P)-like music service.

"We have a video advertising business that currently offers programs like First Episode Free and ads associated with movie and game trailers, and we're often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service," Sally Fouts, an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to TheStreet on Thursday evening.

Fouts was responding to an inquiry as to whether the company is preparing to offer a free streaming TV and music service, something The Wall Street Journal reported upon on Thursday afternoon.

The WSJ report said 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 (NFLX) 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. Recently, Amazon increased the price of its Prime service to $99 a year. The company's video offering is bundled into Prime account, which also give users free, two-day shipping.

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 were rising less than 1% in Friday pre-market trading. Shares closed at $338.47 on Thursday.

After dropping 2% on the WSJ report, Netflix shares were falling over 1.5% in Friday pre-market trading.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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