Friday, October 4, 2013

Amazon Wants Its Own Set Top Box To Send Its Content

Its one thing to have the content and another to have the distribution.  While Netflix has relied on third parties to distribute its subscription services, Amazon has taken a more technological approach.  Like Apple, Amazon built its own tablet to run its content.  And like Apple and its Apple TV box, Amazon now wants to distribute a set top box to stream to the television set.  "The device is code-named "Cinnamon," and will have apps for playing games and streaming video and music from other companies, not just Amazon, according to the WSJ. It will be released for the holiday shopping season." Certainly there are other devices already streaming Amazon content to the TV, but Amazon has hgad a strategy of selling devices at near cost to drive usage.  I suspect an Amazon set top box will also be priced cheaply (definitely below Apple TV's retail price of $99) to encourage new consumers to enter the marketplace.  And by pairing its Kindle with its new set top box, Amazon customers get an integrated usage experience sure to please the user. 

What apps and other video streams will be featured on the new Amazon box?  No word yet but I would doubt that other subscription services would be made available.  Perhaps free OTT like You Tube or even Vimeo or Crackle could be a possibility.  With so many OTT boxes for consumers to add, including their own cable TV box for now, Apple TV, Roku, new Smart TVs like Samsung and certain blu-ray players, and gaming consoles like XBox and Playstation, is the consumer ready for one more.  Certainly Amazon benefits by pairing this new box with its own best selling tablets, but other devices do the same thing through apps installed on tablets already.  The market is quickly becoming more crowded and consumers will have to decide which set top box or how many boxes they wish to connect to their TV set; or perhaps the answer is none as Smart TVs will be enabled to do all the work. 

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