Stream On, Amazon

Jeff Bezos is about to pull another rabbit out of his digital hat.

The (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) CEO revealed at last week's D6: All Things Digital conference that the leading online retailer is weeks away from rolling out a streaming video-on-demand service.

This service isn't much of a stretch. Amazon has been selling and renting digital flicks and TV shows through its Unbox service for nearly two years. Sure, downloads are different from streams, but who are we kidding here? Unbox downloads can begin streaming just minutes after the process is initiated, and the Unbox rentals are already temporary in nature.

Amazon isn't in the same league as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) in digital video, even if it beat Steve Jobs to the couch potato when Amazon struck a deal with TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO  ) to let Unbox purchases play through TiVo's digital video recorders.

So forgive me if I yawn at this news of streaming video.

I'm more interested in what Amazon will do after it gets this video-streaming service off the ground. Amazon is already huge on the Web-services side. The company has the server farm to facilitate tech-developer storage needs and provide the infrastructure backbone for other online shops. For Amazon, streaming is as natural as breathing, so I wonder whether this move is part of a bigger push to serve as a streaming provider for other companies.

Content-delivery networks such as Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) and Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW  ) make a living by serving up chunky media files. Is Amazon's upcoming streaming platform a way to delve deeper into that market? 

We'll have to wait and see what this video-streaming service will look like. Will it be PC-based, similar to what Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) provides free to its subscribers? Will it be TV-based, like the pay-per-view model that cable companies such as Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCS  ) have perfected? Will the Kindle, despite its screen and storage limitations, play a part in the streaming service?

Suddenly, I'm not yawning any more. Show me what you've got, Bezos.

Foolishness is flowing:

Netflix,, and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. You can try either market-beating newsletter service free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been shopping online for about as long as has been in business. He owns shares in Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy that’s streaming the latest and greatest.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2008, at 7:03 AM, LouieJunior wrote:

    That's all AMZN investors ever do -- wait and see. Everything they start is pumped and hyped by the company with very few accomplishments.

    All Amazon realy does effectively is collect money for UPS and FedEx.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 656153, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 6:34:59 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
AMZN $818.99 Up +8.67 +1.07% CAPS Rating: ****
AAPL $116.60 Down -0.46 -0.39%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
AKAM $57.67 Up +0.94 +1.66%
Akamai Technologie… CAPS Rating: ****
NFLX $127.50 Up +4.15 +3.36%
Netflix CAPS Rating: ***
TIVO $19.90 Down -0.10 -0.50%
TiVo CAPS Rating: **