Amazon’s free ad-supported channel could launch this week

Amazon's Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Stick (Amazon)

Amazon’s free ad-supported streaming channel—an answer to similar offerings from Roku, Tubi and Xumo—could be launching as soon as this week.

According to CNBC, Amazon-owned IMDb is planning to launch the channel on Fire TV devices and to fill it out with a catalog of TV shows and movies. The company is reportedly in talks with three media companies about bringing their content to the service.

To entice advertisers looking to buy targeted ads, Amazon is reportedly going to offer up its proprietary data and let marketers combine it with third-party data. The report cites an advertising executive who said Amazon has also considered an ad-supported version of the company's Prime Video.

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The plan with the service is to allow ads between content and ads that wrap around the embedded video player.

RELATED: Editor’s Corner—Amazon rumors show ad-supported video picking up steam

CNBC’s report comes after The Information in August reported similar plans for Amazon. The potential move from Amazon comes at a time lots of big companies, such as AT&T and Verizon, are attempting to better target TV ads so they can compete with giants like Facebook and Google who have been luring ad dollars away from traditional and streaming video services.

Although eMarketer predicts TV ad spending will slip slightly in 2018, the market is still projected to be worth nearly $70 billion. At the same time, U.S. digital ad spending will increase 18.7% this year to more than $107 billion. Ad-supported over-the-top platforms such as Roku and Hulu will keep grabbing a bigger chunk of that spend.

The firm said this year Roku’s U.S. ad revenues, which are mostly video, will hit $293 million, up 93% annually, and Hulu’s U.S. ad revenues will rise 13% to $1.12 billion.

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