Amazon trying to offer subscription TV, movies

Sep 01, 2010 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. is talking with major media companies about offering unlimited views of older TV shows and movies online, as it struggles to stay relevant to consumers flocking to Apple Inc.'s iTunes a la carte store and Netflix Inc.'s all-you-can-eat subscription plan.

Amazon has approached several companies, including Inc., Time Warner Inc., and Sony Corp., three people familiar with the matter said Tuesday. They requested anonymity because the talks are ongoing.

The talks are at an early stage and focus on offering TV shows and movies that have already been available on home video, according to one person.

Amazon intends to link the service to its Amazon Prime membership, a $79 per year plan that gives customers discounted shipping costs. But some media companies are averse to having their offerings potentially perceived as freebies, another person said.

A spokesman for Amazon, which is based in Seattle, said the company would not speculate on future business deals.

News of the talks emerged in The Wall Street Journal, a day before Apple is expected to announce a new TV offering and a revamped . An Apple spokesman also declined to comment.

Apple has also been talking with several media companies and is nearing a deal to offer recently aired TV shows from The Co.'s ABC and .'s Fox for 99 cents. The shows could be downloaded but would expire 48 hours after purchase. They are intended for fans who want to catch up on shows even on airplanes or other places without .

Apple is also expected to cut the price of its Apple TV device. Pre-empting the move, Roku Inc., whose set-top box allows subscribers to watch older movies and TV shows, cut the prices of its basic high-definition device by $30 to $69.99 on Monday.

Many companies are trying to bolster their online offerings but media companies are being careful not to upend lucrative existing businesses, including that of selling TV shows as reruns to other channel operators or TV stations.

in particular is trying to preserve the business of monthly cable or satellite TV subscriptions by pushing its "TV Everywhere" plan. In the plan, it gives paying subscribers of upper tier channel plans unlimited online access to the current season of shows such as TNT's "The Closer."

Meanwhile, Hulu, the online video service jointly owned by Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal, kicked off a $10-a-month subscription TV plan in June. It offers episodes from the current and past seasons of many ABC, Fox and NBC shows such as "Glee," "The Office," and "House," although subscribers still have to watch advertisements.

Explore further: Amazon launches 3D printing store

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple's 99-cent TV show idea is no game changer

Aug 26, 2010

(AP) -- Apple Inc.'s iTunes store may have revolutionized the music business, but its recent push to let people rent TV shows for 99 cents won't amount to a game changer for how people watch TV.

Amazon launches HD movie rental, TV show sales

Apr 22, 2009

(AP) -- Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday it is adding high-definition video to its on-demand service, offering consumers the ability to rent movies and purchase television episodes shown in HD.

Roku teams with Amazon to stream videos

Mar 04, 2009

Roku, maker of a $100 box that delivers streaming Netflix videos to consumers' TVs, is teaming with Amazon.com to vastly increase the number of movies and TV episodes consumers can watch through the device.

DirecTV, TBS, TNT to put shows online

Aug 27, 2009

(AP) -- DirecTV Group Inc. is in talks with the TBS and TNT cable networks to offer their shows online, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Apple wants to cut TV show price to 99 cents: reports

Feb 11, 2010

Apple is in talks with television networks to begin selling TV shows on iTunes for 99 cents, half the current price, to coincide with the release of the iPad next month, newspapers reported Thursday.

Recommended for you

Amazon launches 3D printing store

7 hours ago

Amazon announced Monday the launch of an online store for 3D printed items to allow consumers to customize and personalize items like earrings, pendants, dolls and other objects.

Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch

12 hours ago

Samsung Electronics said Monday it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google's Android system.

Chinese portal Sohu reports $45 million loss

15 hours ago

(AP)—Sohu.com Inc., operator of a popular Chinese Internet portal, said Monday it lost $45 million in the latest quarter while revenue rose 18 percent to $400 million.

User comments : 0