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Amazon Developing a Free, Ad-Supported Version of Prime Video (adage.com)
28 points by elsewhen 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

I wonder if this will cause any changes to the existing adverts paying customers see. At the start of each episode they often play adverts for their other shows and devices. Ok it’s not an advert for toilet roll, but still, adverts are what I wanted to avoid by paying for TV.

If done right, I think those ads could feel more like previews at the movies. I think the problem that Amazon gets into is that they show the same one over and over and it feels like an ad.

How would I fix it? 1) create a setting that allows people to turn it off. 2) Don't hide or delay the skip button. 3) Make them really previews. Previews do a good job of intriguing and entertaining. Some of Amazon's ones just feel like ads which more just tell you that something is available - I'm thinking of The Tick ones in particular. 4) Don't repeat a preview within a 36 hour window. When a preview is new, it can be interesting. Even an ad can be interesting once. When I see the same ad over and over and over, it gets ridiculously annoying. One of the worst things about online video ads is that I can watch a show and get the same ad 10 times in an hour. I've watched HGTV and gotten the VW-man-cave ad literally twice in a row during the same ad break. The ad stops and then it starts again because it's the next ad. Amazon isn't as bad as that, but I don't want the same ad for the same content starting every episode I watch. I've seen it, don't beat me to death with it. 5) Also mix in some previews for non-exclusive content. Amazon has Indiana Jones. Throw in a preview there. Show people your library.

Still, one ad for another piece of content doesn't feel the same. Once in the program, there's no interruption. Amazon isn't making money by you watching more content (unless you count continuing to pay for Prime because of its value).

I often appreciate good previews. It's something I think can be missing. How do I decide to try a new show? I really want a good preview that gets me interested. Shows can start slow, but a preview can show me that I should try it.

Again, I think there are some adjustments that could be made to make them less annoying and possibly even welcome for most people. I think the biggest problems are the annoying ad-like properties - delaying the skip button, repeating the same preview over and over, etc. And I think if you allow opt-outs, that's more than fair.

If I were guaranteed not to see the same preview more than once in a 36-hour period and there was no delay on the skip button, I'd keep them.

>[Update, 5:03 PM ET – Amazon has now denied AdAge’s new report, as well](https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/13/reports-of-a-free-ad-suppo... )

According to Techcrunch, this is false.

I wish they made their existing service work the same on all platforms. HD content is practically not available on Linux (HDCP issues) and half-works on Windows (works on my desktop but not on my laptop although both should be HDCP compliant).

I have a prime subscription but I hardly use the video streaming service for this reason. It's just too crappy and user-unfriendly, especially on Linux. And like with all video streaming services the selection is not good enough to be my "go-to" provider to watch shows and movies.

So instead I keep torrenting everything I want to watch (using a RSS feed to download TV shows automatically) and I end up with better usability and a much better selection than legitimate services for zero kopeks. No DRM, no shows randomly made unavailable (or missing seasons) because of licensing shenanigans. No need to worry if it'll be compatible with $device.

I even torrent shows available on Amazon Prime Video because I can't be bothered to use their crappy webplayer instead of kodi. One day I'm sure we'll have a "spotify for video" and I'll subscribe to it. In the meantime I can't be bothered.

On my Linux system, a lot of TV shows are FullHD on Amazon Prime video while only being 480p on Netflix. Same for a few, non-blockbuster, movies.

I like Amazon Prime Video's exclusives but their service as it is now shows videos you have to purchase seperate to view.

Contrast that with Netflix where if the videos not available on streaming you can usually get it in the mail as a DVD.

When will they develop a version that works with Chromecast? I have Prime Video but the easiest way for me to get Prime content on my TV is to pirate it and stream it.

This is kind of fucked up. You bought a locked down dongle that works only with Google services. You can't even play your own media on it[0]. Now you expect every service to support google's dongle?

Here's what you should have done: get a TV or a dongle with DLNA support. Then your PC will show up as a source and you can play any goddamn thing you want. Or you could have got a TV or a dongle with android on it, then you could have just downloaded Amazon's app.

[0]no "official" way at least

>You bought a locked down dongle that works only with Google services.

What? Pretty much every other video app/player I can think of works with chromecast.

I don't have an answer to that question, but the Amazon Music app just added Chromecast support, so never say never.


Amazon might prefer that you get an Amazon Fire TV Stick, which sells for $40.

If I have to buy a stick for everyone's streaming service I'll be up to my ears in dongles!

It is a mixed bag.

Netflix works on just about every device you can watch video on. In the living room, that includes everything from the latest top-end game console (e.g. Xbox One X) all the way to inexpensive streaming sticks, cable boxes, etc.

Some streaming services work on a limited set of devices (partly because they likely have to re-implement their app for each platform). Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now are examples.

> did you mean youtube?

'free' as in 'you are paying with our attention and your nerves' (in this case too: and your privacy?)

I doubt you have much better privacy with the paying service. It's amazon we're talking about, they probably collect as much data as technically possible.

(Disclaimer: I work for Amazon but this is my opinion.)

While it's true that Amazon collects about as much data as it is able to, there's a big difference in their intentions when compared to someone like Google or Facebook.

In the end, it's obvious what Amazon's motives are: they want you to buy more of their products, or more of other people's stuff from their store. The data helps them improve their products and services so you pay them more money. Personally, I'm okay with that because their incentives are aligned with mine: if they make more stuff I want, then I'll pay them for it.

Note that I'd argue the same way about Apple and Microsoft.

On the other hand, it's not clear what Google or Facebook want from you. Their incentives are not aligned with their users because their money comes from advertisers. It's the advertisers that are their customer, not the users. So I'd put Amazon in a completely different class from the Google and Facebook.

But this ad-supported Amazon Video starts to change that, because any money they get from this is shifting their interests towards advertisers and away from customers.

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