Here’s the latest hammer blow at the pay TV bundle, and an interesting add-on to Amazon’s video offerings for customers who pay $99 a year for its Prime service: Its new Streaming Partners Program is designed to make it simple for members to pay a monthly fee to see programs from Showtime, Starz, and other premium services.
“The way people watch TV is changing, and customers need an easier way to subscribe to and enjoy multiple streaming subscriptions,” Amazon’s Digital Video VP Michael Paull says.
Showtime and Starz will cost $8.99 a month.
Amazon will handle the back-end chores including subscriber acquisition, payments via credit cards on file, customer service, billing, and streaming.
The e-retailer says that subscribers will benefit from free trials, special pricing, and the ability to watch episodes “simultaneous with broadcast.” Users can add the premium content to their Watchlists, access shows by Fire TV’s voice search, and cancel any subscription at any time.
Showtime President David Nevins says that offering its recently launched streaming service through Amazon will “greatly expand our footprint, making sure our service is available to new subscribers whenever and however they want to watch us.”
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht also calls it “a terrific product for customers to conveniently navigate their entertainment options quickly, easily and anywhere.”
In addition to the well known premium channels, Amazon will offer Lifetime Movie Club, Shudder, SundanceNow Doc Club, Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, Acacia TV, DramaFever Instant, Tribeca Short List, Dove Channel, Docurama, CONtv, Smithsonian Earth, IndieFlix Shorts, Curiosity Stream, Qello, Cinefest, Nature Vision, Warriors and Gangsters, Dox, Monsters and Nightmares, Hooplakidz Plus, ScreenJunkies Plus, Film Forum, Daring Docs, Fear Factory, and Ring TV Boxing.