Amazon is the latest to explore a live-TV streaming service, reports say

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has talked to major media conglomerates including CBS Corp. and Comcast/NBCUniversal (NASDAQ: CMCSA) about launching a live-TV streaming service, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg describers the discussions as being preliminary. Frost and Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn said he has also spoken to sources close to the Amazon discussions. He noted that Amazon's recent $500 million agreement to acquire Elemental Technologies gives the company technology needed to perform the tricky task of streaming live TV.

"Those I have spoken with haven't disclosed how far along Amazon is with regards to a live OTT service," Rayburn wrote. "It's possible Amazon is simply looking at the economics of the business, which would involve them talking with content owners about costs.

"While Amazon has already confirmed they plan to integrate Elemental's live linear platform into their AWS platform and offer it as a service, acquiring Elemental will also give Amazon their own in-house platform needed to make an Amazon branded live OTT service possible," Rayburn added.

Amazon has already carved out a sizable market share in both subscription video on demand service, competing aggressively with market leader Netflix. It is also a leading transactional distributor of video, where it competes with Apple's iTunes store, Google Play and Wal-Mart's Vudu, just to name a few services.

The live-streaming market is currently populated by Dish Network's Sling TV service, which streams a "skinny" collection of major cable channels -- ESPN, TNT and AMC -- for a base price of $20 a month.

Sony's PlayStation Vue, meanwhile, streams a larger selection of both cable and broadcast channels starting at $50 a month.

Also looking to enter the virtual pay-TV operator market is Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which continues to have discussions with programmers.

For more:
- read this Bloomberg story
- read this Streaming Media blog post

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