Amazon Denies Plans to Launch Free Ad-Supported Streaming

UPDATE: E-tailer giant Amazon is contradicting reports that it's set to launch an ad-supported streaming service using its original content (which recently entered a second crowdsourced "season" of new shows) and music videos, among other programming. “We have a video advertising business that currently offers programs like First Episode Free and ads associated with

Amazon’s Betas Is Basically Entourage for the Other Half of California

Okay, so Amazon's new series, Betas, is maybe not the hole-in-one it pulled off with Alpha House, but there are some similarities, at least superficially speaking.Both shows follow four offbeat guys who spend most of their waking hours together. Both have minority women in featured roles as love interests for male characters—without much going on besides their romantic lives. And both take place essentially on the front page.

Amazon Banks on Valley Appeal to Boost Originals

With its first original comedy, Alpha House, Amazon Studios went with skewering Washington D.C., a deserving but familiar milieu.But with comedy No. 2, Betas, which debuts on Friday, Amazon is looking to take viewers inside the less mined but equally obsessed-over Silicon Valley. The timing would seem to be perfect, as it’s become common cocktail party conversation for the average American to dissect Twitter’s stock price or opine on the Snapchat founders' decision to turn down $3 billion."There have been shows about Silicon Valley, but nobody's figured out how to make that look interesting on its own,” said director and producer Michael Lehmann. “But young people are so into this world. If you have a kid now, you want them to build an app. So we thought, 'Why hasn’t anyone done this show?'”