Amazon will reportedly introduce its own streaming box that’ll be available in the fall. According to sources speaking with Bloomberg, the company’s plans are to offer a device for your living room that’ll connect directly to Amazon’s warehouse of Instant and on-demand video. As if we didn’t already have enough streaming boxes capable of doing that exact same thing. But maybe, just maybe, Amazon’s will be dirt cheap. It’ll have to compete with devices like the excellent $99 Roku 3 around, after all.
The likeliest scenario will be a box offered up to new and existing customers who sign up for Amazon’s Prime subscription, which is currently $79/year—an even bigger incentive might be access to Instant Video only, and not the other niceties that come with Prime, for a cheaper annual fee. That would certainly be a nice way for Amazon to attract more customers to its growing library, which now includes 14 original series pilots. Amazon’s business has always been about pushing content, while offering hardware at very wallet-friendly prices.
If Amazon does jump into the streaming box market, though, will it offer channels outside of its own confined ecosystem? Can you simply download Hulu, or HBO Go, or Netflix onto the thing? The Kindle Fire obviously has access to those services, so one would expect Amazon would leave its (Kindle box?) streaming device open to other sources.
You can bet the company’s current tablets will communicate very easily with the upcoming set-top box, creating a unity among its connected devices. Will it run a forked version of Android? That part isn’t clear. It’s also not clear if this thing stands a chance among more established set-top boxes such as Roku and Apple TV. It’ll likely be cheap, and of course have access to a huge library of content. But what else? A fall release is still pretty far off, so hopefully we’ll find out more information along the way.