Amazon's rumored set-top: It's a dongle, baby

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is jumping into the streaming device market, announcing it will release a dongle-type device in early April. Pricing is unknown at this time, but the device will likely be priced to compete with Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) $35 Chromecast and Roku's new streaming stick, as well as the Apple TV (Nasdaq: AAPL) set-top and similar devices.

A report in The Wall Street Journal said that the device will likely be marketed with incentives for existing Prime members, according to sources the publication said were familiar with Amazon's plans.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Lab126 will produce the USB stick-type device, according to TechCrunch. The research and development subsidiary also produces Amazon's Kindle e-readers.

What advantage is Amazon looking for in adding equipment to its already-popular streaming service? The WSJ suggests that a streaming device will enable the provider to gain revenue from advertising and app downloads, similar to Roku's model. The online retail giant can also gain more detailed consumer data from a proprietary device.

Additional streaming services are also rumored: TechCrunch cites one unnamed source as saying the device will support streaming full PC game titles, similar to OnLive's remote game service.

Amazon had not responded to a request for comment by press time.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has this story (sub. req.)
- TechCrunch has this story

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