At first glance, this appears to be another one of those “skinny” packages wherein consumers only pay for the channels they want. And while the list of channels isn’t too extensive at the moment, any Prime member who’s interested in the new feature can pay $8.99 a month to add networks like Showtime and Starz, as well as about 20 other “streaming partners” such as the Lifetime Movie Club, Ring TV Boxing, and Comedy Central’s Standup+ Service.
“The way people watch TV is changing, and customers need an easier way to subscribe to and enjoy multiple streaming subscriptions,” said Amazon VP of digital video Michael Paull in a statement prepared for the launch. “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.”
Aside from Amazon, other companies are offering such a feature, which some industry experts are referring to as “rebundling.” Hulu, for example, has something similar, though the difference is that there’s only one network included – Showtime – where customers can pay a monthly fee to add the channel to their packages. Amazon will take care of the actual channel streaming framework, payment processing, and payment handling, though it’s not sure what the exact terms of the retailer’s agreements with streaming partners are.