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The Amazon Streaming Partner Program was announced this week.  At face value, it seems like a great PRIME customer value to subscribe at discounted rates with partners such as Showtime and STARZ.  Taken a step further, it escalates the competition between Amazon Video and other streaming content businesses such as Netflix and Hulu.  But the more the situation is played forward, this can be seen as a major advance for Amazon Video becoming a cable provider alternative with an ala carte potential to select the providers and content meaning the most to it’s Prime customers.

To Understand Amazon’s Unique Culture and Strategy, read

 “The Amazon Way:  14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company”

Amazon plays many roles for this business.  First, they are a content developer and studio, and they license other content.  Second, they are a platform provider via the AWS business (Netflix also uses AWS for their scalable infrastructure).  Amazon PRIME brings the customer demand to the business.  Long term, it will be interesting to see how an Amazon business like Twitch gets woven into the customer experience.   All of these components spin Amazon’s PRIME and retail business – customers get locked in (more like addicted) to the Amazon ecosystem, the simplicity and trust of “one account”.  This synergy between Amazon’s multi-faceted businesses is the “flywheel” in action.  Amazon plays the long game, slowly building, slowly tightening the knot, and overtime the Prime customer size and commitment to “anything PRIME” will be too enticing.

Don’t forget that Amazon uses all the data from customer behavior to drive back into their own proprietary studio content development (Amazon Studios), so these partners are just helping to make Amazon smarter about customer preferences.  Very similar to how retailers saw Amazon learning new retail categories that were launched only with third party sellers.

No doubt, these are early days, but you’ve seen Amazon take a step toward being the cord-cutter alternative to cable company offerings.

Amazon’s Press Release:

Amazon today launched the Streaming Partners Program, an over-the-top streaming subscription program for video providers that enables them to reach tens of millions of Prime members. With the Streaming Partners Program, video providers have access to a highly engaged streaming audience, and viewers have a more convenient way to manage their streaming subscriptions.

The Streaming Partners Program offers many benefits for video providers. Amazon is responsible for:

  • Driving all subscriber acquisition
  • Making subscribing friction-free—credit cards are already on file
  • Handling all customer service
  • Managing all billing
  • Managing credit card expirations
  • Serving your content through high-quality, reliable streaming infrastructure
  • Managing compatibility across hundreds of devices

The Streaming Partners Program offers many benefits for viewers, including:

  • Free trials on all subscriptions
  • Special Prime member pricing
  • Latest episodes available simultaneous with broadcast
  • Convenience of one account
  • One Watchlist across all subscriptions
  • Self-service cancellation of any subscription at anytime
  • IMDb X-Ray integration
  • Unified search and browse across subscriptions
  • Unified voice search and ASAP on Fire TV

From Wired –

By Davey Alba

“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, Amazon’s vice president of digital video.

Unlike those rivals, the most interesting thing about Amazon’s plan is that it’s offering itself as more of a platform for others’ content.

 

  1. Amazon doesn’t say how many customers have subscribed to Prime, but analysts estimate as many as 60 to 80 million members globally—members who likely spend more than double what non-members do.

Entire Wired article HERE

From Re/code

By Peter Kafka

For now, Amazon isn’t doing much more than creating a way for Amazon users to manage multiple subscription services from a single billing and distribution hub — the same way Apple does through its Apple TV box.

But people briefed on Amazon’s plans say the company intends to package some of the services it is selling individually into different bundles, presumably at a discount from the normal per-channel price. So that could be interesting. So is the notion that it’s using Prime as a way to sell other third-party services — a new idea for Amazon.

The remainder of Amazon’s initial subscription offerings are either new and/or low-profile subscription services from online-only services like Defy Media’s Screen Junkies Plus, which launched last month, or ancillary online-only services from pay TV channels like AMC’s Sundance (Sundance Doc Club) and A&E (Lifetime Movie Club).

In other words: If you’re looking to build your own version of cable TV’s bundles, this isn’t going to help you, because the TV networks aren’t letting Amazon resell their most valuable stuff. And since most of the stuff that Amazon is letting its Prime subscribers buy is available elsewhere on the Web, this isn’t going to be a revelation for hardcore Web video viewers, either.

Read entire Re/Code article HERE