Amazon unplugs cable…and recent e-book price drops
That’s the sound of cable cutters leaving their $100 a month and more cable subscriptions thanks to what was announced yesterday in this
It’s called the “Streaming Partners” program, and it enables
members, who can already watch thousands of movies and TV shows as part of their $99 a year membership, to subscribe to additional video services.
There are a few particularly interesting elements to this, and why I think it is really significant.
First, it’s the appeal to people who are already Prime subscribers.
Many Prime members are already satisfied with the service. People who subscribe tend to stay subscribed…in marketing parlance, it’s “sticky”. Among the benefits:
- Free two-day shipping on many items (and reduced faster shipping)
- Prime music: stream lots of music, including currently popular songs
- Prime video
- Free storage of photos
- The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library…if you are a Prime member and you have a hardware Kindle, you can borrow up to one book a calendar month from over a million titles. I get reminded when I go to the Prime page above that I am not using that benefit, but it’s because we pay to be Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) members
- Kindle First: get one book a month (to own) out of a few soon to be published titles
All of those benefits (and that’s not all of them) are why it’s also good to
If you are already a member of Prime, you don’t really think about the roughly $8.25 a month you pay for it (and there have been some opportunities to get it at a reduced price). If you start paying $4.99 a month for an add-on subscription, you aren’t going to think of that as $13.24…and you shouldn’t, unless you don’t use any of the other benefits ever.
I was hoping to just find a simple list of the add-on subscriptions with prices at
but from what I could see, I had to click on the services and then click on the trial subscription button to see the details.
These are some of what was listed (from high cost to low):
- Gaia $9.95 a month
- Showtime $8.99 a month
- Starz $8.99 a month
- Qello Concerts $7.99 a month
- Curiosity Stream $5.99 a month
- hooplakids $5.99 a month
- Acorn TV $4.99 a month
- ConTV $4.99 a month
- Screen Junkiez $4.99 a month
- Shudder $4.99 a month
- Tribeca Shortlist $4.99 a month
- Comedy Central Stand Up Plus $3.99 a month
- Lifetime Movie Club $3.99 a month
- Dramafever Instant $3.99 a month
- NatureVision TV $2.99 a month
There are quite a few others, generally of specialized interest.
If you were already paying for Prime, might you pay $8.99 a month more to get Showtime and drop your premium cable package? Sure. Might you also want to get foreign drama series (including Boys Over Flowers, based on a popular Japanese manga series)? Yes, I think you might want to get that for a family member…or ConTV, based on geeky cons, but including movies, TV series, and more.
They all seem to have free trials (I saw both seven days and fourteen days), and it looks to me like it is month to month (no commitment). That is a huge option! You could pay $8.99 for a month, and binge watch, say, Outlander.
The second thing about the program is the attraction to get new Prime members. I’m not sure how many people would join just to get the video services, but if they were considering Prime, they could drop cable and pay for the year…with about what it costs for a month of Premium cable. 😉
Oh, by the way…one reason people get cable is to get local channels. Another option is an HDTV antenna…
Amazon suggests this one:
You don’t pay anything a month to use these antennae…
The third thing, and this is something that has been integral to Amazon’s strategy, is the appeal to content producers (and/or distributors).
Have your own video channel? Start here
Amazon handles the streaming infrastructure, billing, and does some level of promotion…similar to what they do with Kindle Direct Publishing.
I didn’t see much about the requirements…I assume it’s not an exclusive deal, even if you aren’t a big name like Showtime.
Here’s a wild speculation: would Netflix join this?
I’m already a Netflix subscriber, but I’d much rather have it be just part of my Prime subscription as an add-on…especially if it was a bit cheaper, but even if it was the same, it’s just easier to have one bill.
Commentators on the news noted the possible impact on Netflix, but I think Dish TV, Comcast, and those places should be more concerned. Netflix has original content…but I would say most people who subscribe to premium Comcast cable do so for just a few channels. That get a whole lot of others, and they may watch them from time to time, but they’d let that go, in many cases, I think.
This has the potential to reshape the TV market…there will be winners and losers out of it. Here’s one reason, and I’m going to coin this new slogan: “It’s easier through Amazon!” 🙂
I don’t like to do a post without giving something to my readers who are really all about the books (and the EBRs…E-Book Readers), so here are some books which have recently dropped in price (they are all at least 30% off…check the price before you click or tap that “Buy” button, since the prices can change at any time):
- Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain $3.50
- A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley $6.99
- The Ghost House (Annie Graham #1) $3.99
- Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition by Nisid Hajari $9.99
- Luring a Lady by Nora Roberts $3.99
- Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball by Roger Kahn $4.99
Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.