Amazon has had so much success in recommending the right product from its massive inventory and partner merchants' warehouses that it is reportedly preparing to offer suggestions on lodging.

The new service would combine a curated selection of hotels, hand-selected for ratings of four or five stars and and vetted further against Amazon's own reviews of nearby attractions.

News of Amazon Travel, the title of the new web-based travel service, was revealed by travel news site Skift. Amazon Travel will go live on Jan. 1, 2015, sources told Skift.

If the reports are true, Amazon will dip its toes into new waters. But given Amazon's customer base it will be hard for the likes of Travelocity and Priceline to ignore the entrance of the largest U.S. online retailer into the travel marketplace.

Amazon Travel will seek out hotels near world-class cities like New York and Los Angeles. Amazon is said to be seeking independent hotels that don't have the same presence and marketing abilities as chains.

Skift says it confirmed the rumors about Amazon Travel's existence by speaking with three hoteliers. The hoteliers each stated they were contacted by Amazon about being listed on the travel site.

Amazon will make a commission of 15 percent for booking the rooms, though that percentage could fall if hotels agree to lower prices to honor discounts.

Like the elements of Amazon's Prime service, Amazon Travel would cozy up right next to the e-commerce site's other offerings.

"If you're already on Amazon buying a toaster -- whatever you're doing -- you can plan travel at the same time," CNET senior editor Jeff Bakalar said to CBS. "Think about it. You're going to go away... [and] Amazon might say 'Hey, why don't you take a GoPro along with you on your trip to Seattle?' "

Travel recommendations may not be the only thing Amazon resolves to do for the new year, as another report indicates the online retailer is preparing to release an ad-supported version of its Instant Video collection. Amazon already offers a tasting menu of its Instant Video collection, but the new version is expected to be much more robust.

The ads would make TV shows and movies free to customers, baiting them in to eventually purchase a premium subscription to the streaming video service. The ad-supported version would also have the potential to bring down the price of the premium service, helping Amazon's streaming video product gain ground on Netflix.

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