Amazon Management Nixs Discussing ‘Prime Channels’ as Pay-TV Substitute

Amazon’s head of investor relations Dave Fildes refused to speculate whether the e-commerce giant plans to roll out Prime Channels as a standalone competitor to linear pay-TV.

Speaking July 26 on the company’s fiscal call, Fildes said the Channels platform continues to attract mainstream content providers.

“We’re really pleased with the growth we’re seeing, [and] we’ve seen some really good channels come online in the past few quarters,” he said.

Launched in December 2015, Channels offers Prime members access to third-party over-the-top video services such as HBO Now, Showtime, Starz, Dove Channel, Acorn TV, BritBox, Sundance Now, Shudder, Cheddar, Fandor and PBS Kids, among more than 100 services.

Subscriptions are processed and billed through the Prime membership, similar to ecommerce purchases using an Amazon credit card.

Channels accounts for 55% of all a-la-carte OTT video subscriptions, according to The Diffusion Group – reportedly generating more than 70% of all new subs for Showtime OTT and Lionsgate-owned Starz.

Indeed, digital subscriptions that provide Prime members unlimited viewing (Prime Video) or usage rights from third parties (via Channels) generated $3.4 billion in second-quarter revenue (ended June 30), up 57% from revenue of $2.1 billion last year.

“It’s clear to us that customers want that option as part of their Prime membership,” Fildes said.

Separately, Prime original pro soccer series, “All or Nothing: Manchester City,” will become available on Aug. 17.

The series follows the team’s coach, Pep Guardiola and the stories that unfold within the players’ lives. It chronicles Manchester City’s 2017/18 season from the training facilities, to interviews with the manager and executive meetings.

Additional Prime Originals coming to the service in August include, the series premieres of “Agatha Christie” (Aug 10) and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (Aug 31), as well as the second season of “The Stinky & Dirty Show” (Aug 14) and the premiere of original movie, Gringo (Aug 17).

Licensed content includes seasons one and two of “True Tori”, and movies A Cinderella Story (Hilary Duff) and The Blair Witch Project (Heather Donahue). Available to rent or purchase on Prime Video is Deadpool 2, starring Ryan Reynolds.


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