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Free Amazon Streaming Service? Not So Fast

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Amazon might not be competing with Hulu after all. On Thursday, the company denied it was planning to unveil a free, ad-supported streaming service, as was originally reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service,” Amazon spokeswoman Sally Fouts told Variety in an email.

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The Amazon rumor mill has been churning over the last few weeks. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported the company was planning to release a Roku-style streaming device as early as April.

Yesterday, the paper cited “people familiar with the matter” who said that Amazon would offer original programming, music videos and possibly licensed content through a new, free streaming service.

Invitations to a press event in New York City promising “an update on our video business” further stoked rumors that a streaming service could be on the horizon. The company already offers movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime Instant Video, but, unlike Hulu, there are no free versions of those services.

This is not the first time Amazon has denied speculation of over its video-streaming business. In January, it claimed that it had not contacted several TV channels for possible licensing deals for a new broadband streaming service, as was previously reported.

Stay tuned for the next intriguing Amazon rumor, hopefully delivered by drone.

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