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Amazon developing a free, ad-supported video news app for Fire TV, report says – GeekWire

(GeekWire Photo / Clare McGrane)

Fire TV users may soon be getting their news from Amazon. The company plans to debut a free app for streaming video news, according to a report from The Information that cited sources familiar with the plans.

The free, ad-supported news app will launch in the next few months, according to the report. Amazon has reportedly approached Verizon, the parent company of Yahoo News and Finance, and the tech giant may include local news as part of the offering. The company plans to integrate the app with Alexa.

GeekWire reached out to Amazon for comment, and we will update this story if we hear back.

Fire TV competitor Roku already offers free streaming news through Roku Channel, which brings in news from ABC, Yahoo, TMZ and Cheddar, among others.

The news platform would give Amazon a shiny new ad revenue stream. That model has proven fruitful for Roku and, increasingly, for Amazon, which generated $10.1 billion last year from advertising and other services.

Roku is the leader in streaming services with 37 percent of the market. But Amazon has been gaining ground and claimed 28 percent in 2018, according to research firm Parks Associates.

Amazon may be following Roku’s lead in streaming news, but that hasn’t always been the case. Roku recently launched a subscription service for premium channels like Showtime and Starz that mimicked Amazon Prime’s offering.

The dark horse in the streaming race is Apple, which revealed plans for an Apple TV+ streaming service earlier this week. Apple’s latest foray into news is a $9.99/month subscription service called Apple News+ that includes access to more than 300 magazines.

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