×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Launches Anime Channel for $5 Per Month, Its First Branded Subscription Channel

Ecommerce giant plans additional subscription VOD channels

Amazon is rolling out its first branded on-demand subscription service for Amazon Channels: Anime Strike, offering more than 1,000 series episodes and movies ranging from classic titles to current shows broadcast on Japanese TV.

The Anime Strike channel is available to U.S. Amazon Prime members for $4.99 per month after a seven-day free trial, the newest addition to the lineup of around 100 services now available in Amazon Channels.

The ad-free programming on Amazon’s Anime Strike includes recent series like “The Great Passage”; same-day-as-broadcast series from Japan including “Scum’s Wish” (“Kuzu no Honkai”) and “Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga” (“Ao No Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen”); and older anime hits like “Paprika,” “Tokyo Godfathers” and “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS.” Content on the channel will be refreshed weekly, Amazon says.

“With anime in particular, there’s a strong, passionate audience that is underserved by traditional pay TV,” said Michael Paull, Amazon’s VP of digital video and head of Amazon Channels worldwide.

Amazon has struck exclusive U.S. streaming deals for several series on Anime Strike, including “Scum’s Wish,” “Onihei,” “The Great Passage,” “Vivid Strike!,” “Crayon-Shin Chan Gaiden: Alien vs. Shinnosuke,” and “Chi’s Sweet Adventure.”

In the coming months, Amazon plans to launch additional branded subscription VOD channels, according to Paull, but he wouldn’t say what genres those will cover. For now, Anime Strike is available only to Prime members in the U.S.

Other U.S. online distributors of anime programming include Funimation and Crunchyroll, which is owned by AT&T-Chernin Group’s Otter Media.

Amazon’s Anime Strike is being programmed with a mix of adult-themed, romance and action titles designed to appeal across all age ranges, said Paull. “We tend to focus on our customers and their needs, and our big difference is that we’re using the data we have as Amazon to know the type of programming that would excite our audience,” he said.

Amazon Channels, launched late 2015 as the Streaming Partners program, offers 100 add-on video subscription services for Prime members. Channels include HBO and Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Acorn TV, NBCUniversal’s Seeso, Machinima, Warner Bros.’ DramaFever, Tribeca Shortlist, Cinedigm’s Dove Channel, Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Plus, PBS Kids, Fandor and Outside TV.

Pictured above: “Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Tony Ayres - International Live Action

    Netflix Boards Tony Ayres' Tech Thriller 'Clickbait'

    Top Australian film and TV creator, Tony Ayres, “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman and Christian White have set up “Clickbait,” a new thriller series for Netflix. It probes probing the dangers of social media and the widening gulf between people’s real and virtual selves. The show is to be produced in Melbourne, Australia through NBC [...]

  • MINDHUNTER

    Netflix's Podcast Slate 'Deepens' Space Around Original Content, Programmers Say

    It should come as no surprise that, in its quest to become a full-blown entertainment ecosystem, Netflix has built a roster of podcast programming to complement its scores or original series and films. The programs recruit top talent and hosts to hang out and talk about the streaming giant’s TV and film content. It’s a [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content