Amazon Prime (NASDAQ: AMZN) subscribers who also stream standalone OTT services like Showtime Anytime, Starz, Curiosity Stream or Ring TV Boxing can now manage those multiple subscriptions through Amazon's new Streaming Partners program. The program enables SVOD providers to market their services to Prime subscribers and bill through the retail giant's payment system, as well as deliver their video over Amazon's infrastructure.
Amazon's Streaming Partners homepage highlights the third-party SVOD services available to its Prime subscribers.
Viewers will be able to browse all of their participating SVOD services' content through a unified Watchlist. They also get discounted pricing on partner services: Showtime Anytime will be available for $8.99 per month, a significant drop from its standalone $14 rate, as will Starz.
According to Amazon, the program is all about simplifying streaming for its Prime Instant Video subscribers. "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," said Michael Paull, VP of digital video at Amazon.
However, it's also a strike back against Hulu, Amazon's closest SVOD competitor, which partnered with Showtime a couple of months ago to bring a discounted Showtime Anytime service to its subscribers. Partnering with several smaller SVOD services like Curiosity Stream, a $2.99 online video service specializing in nonfiction/factual video, allows Prime subscribers to check out OTT services they might not subscribe to on their own.
Nineteen partners have initially signed on to the program. Besides Showtime and Starz, A+E Network is offering its Lifetime Movie Club; AMC is making its Shudder and SundanceNow Documentary Club available. RLJ Entertainment's Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel and Acacia TV will be on the service. Cinedigm's Dove Channel, Docurama and CONtv are on tap as are FlixFling's Cinefest, Nature Vision, Warriors and Gangsters, Dox, and Monsters and Nightmares. Gravitas is offering its Film Forum, Daring Docs and Fear Factory service. Standalone services including Gaia, DramaFever Instant, Tribeca Short List, Smithsonian Earth, IndieFlix Shorts, Curiosity Stream, Qello, BroadbandTV's Hoolakidz Plus, DEFY Media's ScreenJunkies Plus, and Ring TV Boxing are also available.
Reports that Amazon was putting together a service that would give its Prime Instant Video users an integrated watchlist emerged last week, along with word that the company may be finally putting together an app for the Apple TV streaming device. No news has emerged on that Apple TV rumor yet, though.
However, the move to bring a number of third-party services to its subscribers seems keyed as much toward attracting holiday buyers to its own Amazon Fire TV streaming devices and sticks as it does to continuing to build a Prime subscriber base.
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