According to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek, e-commerce behemoth Amazon is preparing to launch a set-top box this fall, in hopes that you’ll consume all of your content through its spin on the now-common device. The company is already working hard to push its Kindle line to consumers, and this box would be for people who don’t want to deal with the fanciness of Apple products, the gaming nature of Microsoft’s XBox, the half-baked Google TV or the little engine that could, Roku.
Yes, this is a crowded market, but Amazon has something that these other companies don’t have, which is warehouses full of things to sell to people while they watch TV. I imagine that you’ll be able to shop as you would online or on your mobile device, right on your TV set. That means that the temptation to pick up that new TV, while you’re watching your old crappy one, could overcome you during a show. One button click and a new TV could be on the way.
Think of it as Home Shopping 2.0. With some interesting programming to watch, of course.
Instead of acquiring a smaller company that already has its own product in the wild, Amazon has decided to build this in-house, under its Lab126 umbrella in Cupertino.
Amazon has been building up its content viewers by bundling it with Amazon Prime shipping for free, trying to entice anyone who is already spending regular money with them to try other things out. What shipping has to do with free movies and TV, I don’t know, but customers seem to be happy with it thus far.
Reasons for doing a set-top box are obvious, with its original content being the most popular on the platform since it launched. As Amazon finds its way to more niche shows that it can present exclusively, the reasons to grab an Amazon-branded device for your TV makes more sense. In the same way that Apple leverages each of its devices to sell new ones, Amazon is learning how it’s done. It also doesn’t help that it has millions of shoppers visiting its site daily looking for new things.
Some could say that Amazon is late to the game, but I see Jeff Bezos and company taking smart, calculated steps to capitalize on mistakes made by others, much like it did with the Kindle, staying close to a purer paperback-esque reading experience.
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