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Thursday, May 29, 2008
Amazon to Launch Streaming Video

Internet retailer Amazon will launch a streaming video service in the next few weeks to augment its digital offerings, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday.

At lease this is what Jeff Bezos said, speaking at The Wall Street Journal's three-day D: All Things Digital conference taking place north of San Diego, without providing more information.

The company has been beefing up its digital media offerings in order to better compete with rivals such as Apple, which dominates the category with the popular iTunes music download service.

Besides recently launching an electronic book reader, the Kindle, Amazon has been building a digital music store and now offers downloadable movies, television shows and videos on its Web site.

It also has a deal with TiVo, maker of the popular digital video recorder, that allows users to rent videos from Amazon's Unbox service and watch them on their televisions.

Amazon is not alone in looking at streaming online video, allowing viewers to essentially rent movies via the Web rather than download large files to store on personal computers or other devices.

On Wednesday, the chief executive of DVD-by-mail company Netflix, Reed Hastings, said the company is currently funding streaming video in order to "give us years of subscriber and earnings expansion."

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