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Amazon taps partners for channels streaming launch

AmazonFireTV_HomeScreen_FrontAmazon has teamed up with major TV networks and content makers including Showtime, Starz and AMC to offer partner subscriptions to Amazon Prime customers.

Amazon confirmed its much-rumoured, US-based StreamingPartners Program scheme yesterday with a host of partners that also included A+E Network, DramaFever, Curiosity Stream, Smithsonian and BroadbandTV.

The over-the-top streaming program will let Amazon Prime customers manage different video subscriptions via Amazon, with the e-retail giant taking responsibility for customer service, billing, device compatibility, content serving and streaming infrastructure.

“The way people watch TV is changing, and customers need an easier way to subscribe to and enjoy multiple streaming subscriptions,” said Michael Paull, vice president of digital video at Amazon.

“With the Streaming Partners Program, we’re making it easy for video providers to reach highly engaged Prime members, many of whom already frequent streamers, and we’re making it easier for viewers to watch their favourite shows and channels.”

Amazon said that the viewer benefits of its Streaming Partners Program include free trials on all subscriptions, special Prime member pricing, a single ‘Watchlist’ for all subscriptions and the convenience of a single account.

“By marrying Showtime with the powerhouse retail capabilities of Amazon, we continue to greatly expand our footprint, making sure our service is available to new subscribers whenever and however they want to watch us,” said Showtime Networks president, David Nevins.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said that the Amazon partner scheme will let viewers “conveniently navigate their entertainment options quickly, easily and anywhere”.

CuriosityStream president Elizabeth Hendricks North added: “partnering with Amazon on their new SVOD delivery platform is an important milestone for our service by diversifying access options for new subscribers.”

Last month Bloomberg reported details of the Amazon Streaming Partners Program, but said these plans were separate from ongoing efforts by Amazon to launch a live online TV service to compete directly with cable TV.