December 2, 2015
Although Amazon won’t comment, those in the know say that the company will soon open up Prime Instant Video to other on-demand networks. With this move, Prime customers will be able to add other online subscriptions to their accounts, and Amazon will be able to aggregate its own network bundles. Amazon has also signed a deal with JetBlue to feature its streaming video and music services on the airline’s satellite Internet system, and Apple TV users will soon have access to a Prime Instant Video iOS app.
By expanding Prime’s offerings to include more programming, Amazon could become more appealing to potential subscribers and boost its ongoing competition with Netflix and Hulu. The new service could begin as early as next month.
Bloomberg describes the expanded Prime Instant Video as “something between a cable-TV subscription, though without live programming, and the online array of video offered through devices from Roku, Apple TV or Amazon’s own Fire TV.”
Sources say that Amazon will “manage customer relationships for major media companies the way pay-TV services do” and that the company is also working on technology allowing Prime users to “directly log into other streaming services using Amazon credentials.” Revenue sharing will likely dominate as the financial arrangement, and Amazon will create landing pages for other video services within Prime.
Amazon doesn’t disclose its number of customers, but, in July, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated Prime had 44 million members, compared with Netflix’s 43.2 million U.S. customers at the end of Q3. Amazon’s Fire TV, meanwhile, competes with products from Apple, Roku and Google, and Amazon continues its efforts to start a live online-TV service to compete directly with cable TV.
TechCrunch reports that Amazon successfully completed its JetBlue deal, whereby the airline’s “Fly-Fi” planes feature Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Prime Music services. The move is seen as one that will introduce Prime to more potential customers. The JetBlue Internet relies on satellite technology; Amazon is believed to have subsidized the cost of the free broadband.
Tech Times reports that the Amazon Instant Video app will soon be available on Apple TV. Prime members will be able to download Amazon Video for iOS for free on the App Store.