Amazon will be releasing its first branded on-demand subscription service for Amazon Channels. The subscription channel named Anime Strike, will offer more than 1,000 series episodes and movies ranging from classic titles to current shows broadcasted on Japanese television. The Anime Strike channel is ad free and will be available to US Amazon Prime members for $4.99.
Amazon has also struck exclusive U.S. streaming deals for several series on Anime Strike, including “Scum’s Wish,” “Onihei,” “The Great Passage,” “Vivid Strike!,” “Crayon-Shin Chan Gaiden: Alien vs. Shinnosuke,” and “Chi’s Sweet Adventure.”
“With anime in particular, there’s a strong, passionate audience that is underserved by traditional pay TV,” said Michael Paull, Amazon’s VP of digital video and head of Amazon Channels worldwide. “Our big difference is that we’re using the data we have as Amazon to know the type of programming that would excite our audience.”
With the announcement, Amazon enters the competitive market with Otter Media-owned and Ellation-run CrunchyRoll, which has built a robust streaming business around anime content both domestically and internationally. Ellation, which is funded by Otter as well, announced an aggregated hub for all genre-based video on a gaming, anime, and comedy-focused platform called VRV.
Amazon Channels launched in late 2015 as the Streaming Partners program and offers 100 add-on video subscription services for Prime members. Channels include HBO and Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Acorn TV, NBCUniversal’s Seeso, Machinima, Warner Bros.’ DramaFever, Tribeca Shortlist, Cinedigm’s Dove Channel, Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Plus, PBS Kids, Fandor and Outside TV.