Amazon is introducing booklovers who embraced its Kindle ebook reader to the boob tube. It’s widely believed the company will announce a TV set box top akin to Roku but looking like Google’s Chromecast USB device, possibly at a press event next week.
TechFlash said Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon’s Kindle division, will head Wednesday’s press event, leading many to speculate that the expected device will be part of the Kindle family. Amazon currently offers Amazon Prime Video streaming service that competes with Netflix.
In a research report issued on Thursday, Wall Street analyst Mark May of Citi wrote, “While sales of an Amazon device that is similar to what already exists in the market from companies like Apple, Roku and Google could still be meaningful given the power of Amazon’s own retail channel, we believe Amazon may need to come to market with something more special to drive significant sell-through and adoption.” He noted that Apple has reportedly sold 18mn Apple TV devices, Roku 8mn, and Google Chromecast has sold “millions” since inception.
The Wall Street Journal says Amazon is also mulling an ad-supported streaming content service that would be free to watch, and would not be linked to the Prime subscription service.