News that Amazon is preparing to launch its own set top box for streaming media have picked up more steam today as rumors have begun to circulate about what third party services it may support.
According to multiple anonymous sources speaking with GigaOm, Amazon is reportedly beginning to assemble support from services it plans to include on its long gestating set top box. The assumption had always been that this device would only be an entry point to the Amazon ecosystem with support for Amazon Prime Instant Video, but it sounds like the retailer has something more robust in mind. The new information indicates that the company has already spoken with Hulu and Netflix about building apps for the rumored device.
While this may seem odd at first that Amazon would let competitors onto its system, keep in mind that the Kindle Fire tablets have a robust app store with many other on it. Amazon sells its for next to no profit in an effort to keep you in their ecosystem, but the company apparently realizes that consumers are not going to be interested in products with a single use. The same could very much be said for a set top box when consumers don’t want to clutter up their entertainment centers more than they already are. Releasing a device with only one streaming service on it would be akin to sending the device out to die.
Mid-tier and niche streaming services that GigaOm spoke with said they had not yet been approached, but seeing as the device apparently runs on a fork of the Android operating system, one has to assume that it won’t be too difficult for these companies to catch up once the device is opened up to them.
Amazon has still yet to say even one word officially about this device, but at the rate rumors are pouring in it is becoming increasingly difficult to think it isn’t real. With the streaming market becoming more and more crowded, one has to wonder if a device backed by one of the biggest company names in the world will be able to crack this area of consumer demand. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens should it ever prove to be real.