Following a week of rumors, Amazon today unveiled its Streaming Partners Program, which enables Prime members to add on a variety of SVOD services and manage them all in one place, and puts those services in front of millions of paying customers who can now subscribe with a just a few clicks.
The program leverages Amazon’s heft as the country’s largest internet retailer, giving it an edge against its biggest competitors, Netflix and Hulu, which, unsurprisingly, are not among the services offered.
As part of the program, Amazon will be offering Prime customers discounts on some subscriptions. For instance, Showtime will be available for $8.99 a month, which is the same price offered to Hulu subscribers, but $2 less than it costs via Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.
Other launch partners include Starz, A+E Network (Lifetime Movie Club), AMC (Shudder and SundanceNow Doc Club), Gaia, RLJ Entertainment (Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, Acacia TV), DramaFever (DramaFever Instant), Tribeca Short List, Cinedigm (Dove Channel, Docurama, CONtv), Smithsonian (Smithsonian Earth), IndieFlix (IndieFlix Shorts), Curiosity Stream, Qello, FlixFling (Cinefest, Nature Vision, Warriors and Gangsters, Dox, Monsters and Nightmares), BroadbandTV (Hooplakidz Plus), Defy Media (ScreenJunkies Plus), Gravitas (Film Forum, Daring Docs, Fear Factory) 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, 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.”
For the SVOD services, the Streaming Partners Program has selling other selling points. Amazon will handle all customer service and manage billing and credit card expirations, and provide a reliable streaming infrastructure with compatibility across a multitude of devices.
The revenue share on the subscription fee will vary by provider, but some smaller services say they are getting a 50/50 split.
For Amazon Prime subscribers — who get free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming Prime Instant Video and Music titles and other perks for $99 a year — the Streaming Partners Program also offers free trials on all subscriptions and access to providers’ latest TV episodes simultaneous with broadcast, as well as the ability to search and browse across all subscriptions (a feature already offered on its Fire TV devices).