Amazon Launches SVOD Shopping Mall8 Dec, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Amazon has tens of millions of Prime members who covet free shipping on myriad online purchases. Now Amazon wants to give those members easier access to subscription streaming.
The e-commerce giant Dec. 8 unveiled a “streaming partners program” for third-party over-the-top video providers that enables them to reach millions of consumers — notably Amazon’s Prime members.
In effect, Amazon wants to be a one-stop shop for subscription streaming. OTT video services would have access to services such as subscriber acquisition, customer service, billing, managing consumer credit cards, backend streaming infrastructure and device compatibility.
Initial launch partners include Showtime OTT, Starz, A+E Network (Lifetime Movie Club), AMC (Shudder and SundanceNow Doc Club), Gaia, RLJ Entertainment (Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, Acacia TV), DramaFever (DramaFever Instant), Tribeca Short List, Cinedigm (Dove Channel, Docurama, CONtv), Smithsonian (Smithsonian Earth), IndieFlix (IndieFlix Shorts), Curiosity Stream, Qello, FlixFling (Cinefest, Nature Vision, Warriors and Gangsters, Dox, Monsters and Nightmares), BroadbandTV (Hooplakidz Plus), DEFY Media (ScreenJunkies Plus), Gravitas (Film Forum, Daring Docs, Fear Factory) and Ring TV Boxing.
“The way people watch TV is changing, and customers need an easier way to subscribe to and enjoy multiple streaming subscriptions, Michael Paull, VP of digital video at Amazon, said in a statement.
Notably missing from the SVOD mall: Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Now, in addition to online skinny TV bundles such as Sling TV, TWC TV, Spectrum TV and Xfinity Stream.
Amazon is offering free trials on all subscriptions, special Prime member pricing, latest episodes available simultaneous with broadcast, unified search and browse across all services, IMDb integration, and self-service cancellation, among other features.
“By marrying Showtime with the powerhouse retail capabilities of Amazon, we continue to greatly expand our footprint, making sure our service is available to new subscribers whenever and however they want to watch us,” David Nevins, president of Showtime Networks, said in a statement.