Amazon will begin selling a video-streaming device in April to match the content available on its Amazon Prime viewing service, while the company also talks with the record industry with an eye on music streaming, according to reports.
The price of Amazon’s new device is unclear, but when it ships in April it will throw the company into the increasingly competitive market for streaming video against devices including Google’s Chromecast and the Apple TV, sources tell The Wall Street Journal. Despite this competition for second-screen online video the Amazon device will utilize a form of Google’s widely used Android operating system and will offer some of the apps available on Apple’s set top boxes, WSJ reports.
To place streaming device prices into context, Google’s Bluetooth-enabled Chromecast is available for $35 while the high definition, Apple TV minicomputer sells for $99. Whatever shape the Amazon device takes it will make it easier to view original programming available on Amazon Prime, including the political comedy “Alpha House.”
There are an estimated 23 million users of Amazon Prime as of January, according to a report from Cowen & Co., a financial services firm. Amazon has spoken with record companies and music publishers in recent weeks, seeking to add music-streaming to its Prime services, WSJ reports.
The e-commerce giant announced last week it is increasing the price for the Prime
service by $20 to $99 per year, which also offers unlimited two-day shipping, to
cover the costs of transporting products and to account for the inflation that
occurred since the service began in 2005. Existing Prime members will
pay the new fee on their subsequent annual renewal date beginning April 17.