Amazon channels: the other key streaming service of the US e-commerce giant

Launched in the US in 2015, the service Amazon Channels has been taking its time before gaining momentum in North America. Contrary to Prime Video, which offers exclusive content produced by Amazon Studios and licensed content acquired from third parties to its premium video subscribers, Amazon Channels has been designed as a hub for smaller platforms, broadcasters, and content owners in search of an audience in a more and more fragmented streaming market.

From a very limited audience, Amazon Channels has managed to build a major aggregating service, gathering more than twenty million subscribers to almost 200 channels in the US alone, according to latest Dataxis’ research.

Behind the figures, only a few services have in fact been driving the significant growth observed on the platform. We estimate that more than half of total Amazon Channels subscriptions in 2020 in the US were attributable to subscriptions to CBS All Access, HBO Now -discontinued in Q4 2020 following the launch of HBO Max on the platform- and Starz.

For SVOD services, reaching distribution agreements with aggregators such as Amazon Channels started to become a key element of their US distribution strategy with the multiplication of available streaming offers on the market.

Thus, former CBS CEO Les Moonves declared in 2018 “Amazon has been absolutely amazing in terms of growing our subs”. In the meantime, Amazon Channels accounted for more than 50% of streaming subscriptions for HBO Now, Showtime and Starz, according to a national survey conducted by The Diffusion Group (TDG) in the US in 2018.

Dataxis diversifies its intelligence offers in 2021 with new market research. In the next months we will release additional data on OTT distribution strategies through pay TV partnerships.

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