Amazon could eventually join Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue with the launch of its own live TV service, according to Bloomberg Business. The company has reportedly discussed such a product with both CBS and NBCUniversal. So far, Amazon’s video strategy has been all about on-demand programming; Prime Video, a perk of the online retailer’s annual membership program, offers a mix of original shows (Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle) along with a library of TV shows and movies. Instant Video lets consumers rent and Hollywood movies and popular shows.
But over the last year, companies have been making headway in offering liveprogramming alongside the usual slate of on-demand entertainment. Sling Television led the charge with a $20-per-month package that offers channels like ESPN, AMC, TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, and the Disney Channel. Sony has also attempted to replace cable providers with PlayStation Vue, a more expensive service that also bundles cable channels with live feeds from local networks (CBS and NBC among them).
Amazon’s “deliberations are preliminary” according to the Bloomberg Business report, and Apple’s struggles and delays in building a subscription TV service show that it’s not exactly a simple process. Sony has been slow to roll out Vue to more cities, and Sling TV still lacks popular cable channels like Comedy Central and USA. But Comcast itself has plans to deliver an internet TV product, so the industry as a whole is slowly moving there — albeit very slowly. Much like Apple, Amazon already has hardware (Fire TV and Fire TV Stick) that would be perfect for streaming such a live service to consumers if the company decides to move forward.