Amazon lets users bundle their streaming services with Prime

Steven Loeb · December 8, 2015 · Short URL:

The Streaming Partners Program includes Showtime, Starz, AMC and A+E

Come and look into my crystal ball. I see a future where every single channel has its own separate streaming service. CBS! NBC! ABC! HBO! Showtime! AMC! TLC! MTV! And you have to sign up for each one individually and somehow manage to keep track of all that!

Sounds terrible doesn't it? That does seem to be where we are going, but Amazon seems to have found a creative solution to at least make it a little easier to control.

The company launched its new Streaming Partners Program on Tuesday, which essentially allows users to add additional subscription services to their Amazon Prime account, taking away the hassle of potentially having to manage a ton of different video subcription services.

The way people watch TV is changing, and customers need an easier way to subscribe to and enjoy multiple streaming subscriptions,” Michael Paull, Vice President of Digital Video at Amazon, said in a statement.

With the Streaming Partners Program, we’re making it easy for video providers to reach highly engaged Prime members, many of whom are already frequent streamers, and we’re making it easier for viewers to watch their favorite shows and channels.”

The company has already lined up a slew of different partners, including a few big ones like SHOWTIME, STARZ, A+E Network, and AMC.

Additional services include Gaia, RLJ Entertainment, DramaFever, Tribeca Short List, Cinedigm, Smithsonian), IndieFlix, Curiosity Stream, Qello, FlixFling, BroadbandTV, DEFY Media, Gravitas, and Ring TV Boxing.

Part of the allure for subcribers is a discount for services like Showtime and Starz, which are only $8.99 per month ordering this way, as opposed to $11 per month for Showtime. This is actually the first time that Starz will be offered as a standalone service.

For those smaller, less well known services, this is a great way to get the kind of exposure they normally would not have when trying to go against the larger services like Netflix, Hulu and, yes, Amazon.

And, finally, for Amazon, this becomes a way for it to differentiate itself against its largest rival. Real-Time Entertainment, which means streaming video and audio services, now accounts for over 70 percent Internet traffic in North America.

Amazon, however, runs in a distant third, with 3.1 percent of downstream  traffic, as opposed to Netflix, which absolutely dominates the competition with over 37 percent of all traffic, as well as YouTube, which has just under 18 percent. Together, those two services encompass nearly 55 percent of all traffic.

While Netflix goes all in on original content, originally planning to create 20 new original series per year, it now plans to have 31 of its own shows by next year, Amazon has a big opening to be an aggregator of video content from around the Web, by allowing its user to bundle their own content.

While Amazon has certainly gotten into the original content space as well, and has actually beaten Netflix at its own game by winning some major awards, it now has a chance to be something else entirely: an entertainment hub. 

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