The arrangement enables Prime members to add CBS for $9.99 a month. Viewers of their local station’s live stream (available in most of the network’s national footprint) will see the same commercials as traditional bundled or over-the-air viewers. But the OTT service’s 10,000-plus episodes available on-demand are ad-free except for promotional interruptions. The basic, ad-supported version of CBS All-Access, which costs $5.99 a month, will be added to Amazon Channels in the coming months.
“CBS All Access on Amazon Channels offers a seamless way for Amazon Prime members to get all the benefits of CBS All Access, including their favorite CBS shows plus premium original series,” said Rob Gelick, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Platforms, CBS Interactive Entertainment. “As the first Amazon Channels partner to offer a linear feed of a subscriber’s local broadcast station in addition to video on demand, we’re thrilled to bring live programming to Prime members.”
Execs at CBS say All Access is pacing ahead of their internal projections. CEO Leslie Moonves has pledged that it and Showtime’s stand-alone OTT service will have a combined 8 million subscribers by 2020. Original series launched on the service include Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight and No Activity.
“CBS has produced some of the most popular shows in television history – they have a fantastic selection of hit series,” said Greg Hart, VP of Amazon Video. “Amazon Prime members can now add CBS All Access to their Prime membership and watch the latest episodes of critically acclaimed series, sports programming and award shows. We’re thrilled to work with CBS to bring their cutting-edge content to Amazon Prime members with Amazon Channels.”
Amazon Channels is now two years old. Unlike “skinny” services, it is not a bundle but rather an a la carte venue where subscribers can choose the channels they want.
It has amassed 235 channels worldwide, entering key territories such as the UK and Germany. Domestically, it has also become a key driver of premium cable network OTT subscriptions. The Starz app, for example, has acquired more new subscribers via Amazon than on any other platform. Amazon says subscribers of one premium network are statistically more likely to also add other premium networks to their basket.