Amazon.com will start shipping its video-streaming device early next month, selling the product both through its website and via retailers such as Best Buy, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The device will carry apps now available on Roku and Apple set-top boxes, while running a version of Android software. Popular apps on Roku include Netflix, Hulu and the music-streaming service Pandora.
“Pricing remains unclear, though the people familiar with the company’s plans said the device likely would come with incentives available to members of Amazon’s Prime streaming video and shipping program. Last week Amazon said it is increasing the price of Prime by $20, to $99 annually, in part because of the rising cost of acquiring video,” the story notes.
The report adds: “The device will thrust Amazon into an intensely competitive market in set-top boxes, which include the Roku device, Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast, a top-seller on Amazon’s own website. Roku’s streaming devices sell for as little as $50, while the Chromecast is $35.”
Streaming video is increasingly an important new service for Amazon, which is competing with Netflix, Hulu and others in the arena.