Anime Strike: Amazon’s First Branded Subscription Channel
January 20, 2017
Amazon is launching Anime Strike, its first on-demand subscription service for Amazon Channels, available in the U.S. to Prime members for $4.99/month. The channel will offer more than 1,000 ad-free series episodes and movies, including same-day-broadcasts from Japanese series including “Scum’s Wish” (“Kuzu no Honkai”) and “Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga” (“Ao No Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen”). Also featured will be older anime titles including “Paprika,” “Tokyo Godfathers” and “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS.”
Variety reports Amazon indicates the content will be refreshed weekly. “With anime in particular, there’s a strong, passionate audience that is underserved by traditional pay TV,” said Michael Paull, head of Amazon Channels, which launched in late 2015. Exclusive U.S. streaming deals include “Scum’s Wish,” “Onihei,” “The Great Passage,” “Vivid Strike!,” “Crayon-Shin Chan Gaiden: Alien vs. Shinnosuke” and “Chi’s Sweet Adventure.”
Anime Strike is the first of other new branded subscription VOD channels that Amazon plans to unveil, said Paull. Although he would not reveal the genres of those upcoming channels, Paull added that Anime Strike’s programming will be “a mix of adult-themed, romance and action titles designed to appeal across all age ranges.”
“We tend to focus on our customers and their needs, and 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,” he said. Funimation and Crunchyroll, which is owned by AT&T-Chernin Group’s Otter Media, are other U.S. online outlets for anime programming.
TechCrunch adds, “The move could help Amazon build out its TV business along more traditional lines, offering a la carte content rather than less flexible bundles, but nonetheless building up subscription revenue from users.”
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