According to a new report, Amazon is trying to line up news companies in an attempt to launch its own free video news app.

The report has Amazon having already reached out to Verizon, owner of Yahoo News and Finance, in an attempt to get the app off the ground and on to its Fire TV streaming devices.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because Roku already offers a similar, ad-supported news channel. That offering pulls news from ABC News, Yahoo News and Finance, and Cheddar as well as other partners. Amazon’s offering would give owners of Fire TV devices free-to-watch news content that would presumably be paid for by advertisements. Those ads would run between news segments.

With the news app, the e-commerce giant hopes to make Fire TV more competitive with its biggest rival, Roku, for both viewers and advertising dollars. Roku sells streaming video devices and has a fast-growing advertising business built on its platform of streaming services, including the free, ad-supported Roku Channel.

Interestingly, The Information also reports that Amazon plans to integrate the new news app into Alexa in some way, although there are few specifics as to how that would work.

Ultimately, Amazon will surely be looking to follow Roku’s lead here. The Roku Channel can be watched on third-party devices as well as those made by Roku, and is generating a decent chunk of the company’s revenue thanks to advertising.

It’s still early days in the process of getting a channel or app like this off the ground, and Amazon will need to get partners lined up in order to make everything work. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for more information as it pops up.

(Source: The Information)

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