Report: Amazon working on streaming service

Online retail giant is in talks with major media companies to create a subscription service to deliver movies and TV shows in a model similar to that of Netflix, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon is talking to major media companies to create a new subscription service to deliver movies and TV shows over the Internet, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

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The service, which would be accessible via Web browser and devices such as Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and the Xbox game console, has been pitched to media giants News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom, and NBC Universal, according to the Journal. Amazon's Video on Demand service offers digital downloads of movies and individual TV episodes, but the new service would focus on offering older content in a model similar to that of Netflix, according the to the report.

Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's unknown how such a service would co-exist with Hulu, the online video service owned by News Corp. and NBC Universal, which are reportedly part of the Amazon negotiations. Hulu, which is also owned by Walt Disney, was recently reported as considering an initial public offering worth $2 billion.

The report comes as the crowded fight for domination of digital movie and television content distribution intensifies. Apple is hosting a media event Wednesday during which the company is expected to announce that Disney and Fox have signed on to rent TV shows on iTunes for 99 cents.

Also, some expect Apple to unveil a next generation of Apple TV that will feature the Netflix streaming-movie service. Earlier this month, Netflix signed a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream movies from Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM.

Meanwhile, Google is reportedly in negotiations with major Hollywood studios to stream movies from their catalogs on a pay-per-view basis to users of YouTube's fledgling movie rental program by the end of the year.

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