Amazon open to integrating Prime Video on pay TV platforms

Amazon's Richard Au (left) talks with Cheddar's Jon Steinberg at the Pay TV Show in Denver. (Ben Munson/FierceCable)

DENVER—Richard Au, Amazon's director of prime video channels and sports in the U.S., said his company would be open to integrating its Prime Video service on pay TV platforms.

Au said a key theme for Amazon is building a global video service that will appeal to a lot of people, which is used by tens of millions of people in the U.S., but one that’s not trying to replace traditional TV.

He said Amazon could work with MVPDs to get Prime Video to their customers. “Our service will drive engagement on your platform.”

"We want to be on a broad array of device platforms," he added. "We absolutely want to be where customers are streaming video." 

Indeed, Au pointed to Comcast's deployment of Netflix's streaming service as a model Amazon would like to emulate. "Netflix on Comcast's X1 is great," he said.

Au also pitched networks, saying that Amazon is still licensing programming and will continue doing that in a “significant way.” He also pointed toward Prime Video Direct and Channels as beneficial services for networks and programmers.

To media companies with content that has international rights, Au said Amazon could provide a good international distribution platform.

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Amazon competitor Netflix has had success in getting its service and platform integrated on MVPD systems like Comcast’s X1 platform. But Amazon, unlike Netflix, sells subscriptions to premium channels like HBO and Showtime on its Prime platform, and that could be seen as competition to part of the MVPD business model.

Au said Amazon sees its Channels subscription video hub as a flexible and incremental way for consumers to add networks on an a la carte basis without having to buy into a larger bundle.

Jon Steinberg, founder and CEO of Cheddar, asked if Amazon has any plans to launch a streaming TV service similar to what virtual MVPDs offer. Au said no, Amazon wants to stick with a business model that it can continue to scale. He added that recent additions to Amazon Channels including CBS All Access and Viacom’s Noggin have been doing well so far.

Mike Dano contributed to this report.