Amazon rolls third-party SVOD services, including Showtime and Starz, into Prime

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has officially announced a program to bundle third-party subscription streaming services, such as those offered by Showtime and Starz, into its Amazon Prime Video service.

With its new configuration, for example, Prime members can pay an additional $8.99 for access to Showtime Anytime -- a significant consumer costs savings over the Showtime a la carte service's usual $14-a-month price tag. 

Amazon will handle subscriber acquisition, customer billing, streaming infrastructure and a device management for third-party streaming content providers, giving them significantly increased reach with minimal investment. These outside companies will also have other synergistic opportunities through Amazon's vast retail business.

Amazon, meanwhile, will gain a crucial edge over SVOD market leader Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), becoming a "cable-like" bundler of streaming services.

Notably, Amazon is offering the first a la carte availability for Starz, with the channel's SVOD component also offered for $8.99 a month. Also among the 19 total SVOD channels being offered: A+E Networks' Lifetime Movie Club, AMC's Shudder and Sundance Now, Curiosity Stream 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," said Michael Paull, VP of digital video at Amazon. "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."

For more:
- read this Amazon press release
- read this Amazon Streaming Partners program page
- read this Variety story

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