Amazon (AMZN) to Launch Free Streaming Media Service

Amazon.com (AMZN) plans to offer a free ad-supported streaming TV and music-video service in the coming months, departing from its strategy of offering streaming media to only users of ıts Prime shipping service, reports the Wall Street Journal. Citing people familiar with the matter, the publication states the new service, which will pit the e-commerce giant against rivals like Google’s (GOOG) YouTube and Netflix (NFLX), will feature original series and may include licensed programming.

Furthermore, the Journal adds that Amazon also plans to offer free music videos with advertising to people visiting its retail website. It sounds like Bezos plans on launching its own Web-based TV network.

It goes without saying that this is a major strategic change for a company that obviously aims of transforming itself from a retailer into a multimedia power.

Amazon shares are up $1.66, or 0.49%, at $340.13 in after-hours trading Thursday.

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