Amazon is reportedly tapping alternative streaming media for their unreleased set-top box. The device, which has been rumored as being in production for a while, has been “confirmed” to include Hulu Plus on launch. Further netails note that Netflix will be included as well, and the device could stream an Amazon music service, should they be able to strike a deal with record labels.
Though we didn’t expect Amazon would release a product that would only offer Amazon media, the inclusion of Netflix suggests Amazon is looking to move units as much as tie us into Prime. GigaOM is citing “multiple sources” for the news, saying they’ve confirmed the Hulu Plus inclusion themselves. Two of the biggest players may be involved, but it seems as some “niche-focused” media streaming entities are being left out for now.
The report also notes that the Amazon set-top box will be based on Android, though likely a forked version — perhaps the same forked version we find on Amazon’s Kindle devices. That makes Google services and apps unlikely, putting apps like YouTube out of the picture — officially. With a hardware competitor to the Chromecast, Amazon may be preparing to go head-to-head with Google in other ways as well.
Another report from The Wall Street Journal suggests Amazon is in discussions to bring a streaming music service to Prime members. It seems that terms are being negotiated, with Amazon trying to undercut deals record companies have in place with other entities. Amazon is reportedly offering a pool of cash for the major record labels, but several labels have rejected their terms.
Current deals with streaming music services see producers getting around 7% of the incoming revenue, while Amazon wants to up that to about 21%. The music industry also doesn’t want to compete with all-in music networks like Spotify or All Access. Instead, they’d like streaming music with the option to purchase — like Pandora — while keeping the same profit margins. While everyone wants an Amazon music service, it seems Amazon is willing to play hard ball until they get their way.