Amazon adds Streaming Partners Program

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has added premier movie channels to its Prime service as part of the inaugural lineup for the new Streaming Partners Program.

Prime members will now get free previews and the ability to subscribe to individual channels for a monthly rate of $8.99. They will also be able to manage content, watch lists and billing through their Amazon account. Initial launch partners include Showtime, Starz, A+E Network and AMC.

The channels will let Amazon take care of subscriber acquisition, handle customer service, manage all billing and credit card transactions, and stream content on Amazon's platform.

It's a bid for so-called cord cutters—consumers looking to cancel cable and satellite subscriptions and view a customized selection of content or channels.

"The way people watch TV is changing, and customers need an easier way to subscribe to and enjoy multiple streaming subscriptions," said Michael Paull, Amazon VP of digital video. "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."

Amazon had more than 44 million Prime members as of this summer, and that number is expected to increase over the holiday season.

Amazon has been using video content to grow its Prime membership and further cement loyalty. Already, the online retailer is the go-to search engine for shoppers when researching products. New data from Cowen & Company also suggests that Prime is attracting younger and wealthier members, the very demographic more likely to be prospective cord cutters.

For more:
-See this Amazon announcement

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