(AMZN) Plans to Offer 8 Comedy Pilots for Free

April 18, 2013 9:08 AM EDT (Nasdaq: AMZN) is expected to launch an all-out streaming TV effort soon.

Like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Amazon plans to launch up to eight comedy pilots on its Amazon Instant Video site which will be free for users to watch. In total, Wall Street estimates the effort has already cost Amazon up to $10 million. By comparison, Netflix is said to have spent $100 million making its "House of Cards" series.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is looking to gain more subscribers to Amazon Prime, the company's $79 per year service which offers free two-day shipping, access to Kindle Lending Library, and Prime Instant Video.

Amazon will start with comedies and kid shows, then work its way into drama, the NY Post noted Thursday.

The comedy pilots were expected to debut today, but have since been pushed back. No word on when the debuts will be.

Competition won't be limited to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu; Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), AOL (NYSE: AOL), and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) YouTube have sights set on original content production, the Post noted.

Amazon and Netflix are indicated higher Thursday morning.

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