×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

New Amazon Channels Data Shows Why Apple Wants to Copy It

Amazon has quietly become a major player in the subscription video sales business: Amazon Channels, the company’s platform for reselling subscription services like HBO and Showtime, now accounts for 55 percent of all a la carte direct-to-consumer video subscriptions, according to new data from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

53 percent of all consumers who don’t get HBO through their pay TV provider are purchasing it via Amazon channels, TDG estimated in a new report titled The Future of Direct-to-Consumer Video Services. Those numbers are apparently even higher for some of the other TV networks: 72 percent of Showtime subscribers get the network’s direct-to-consumer offering via Amazon Channels, and 70 percent of Starz a la carte subscribers receive it from Amazon.

The Diffusion Group arrived at these estimates by surveying a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adult broadband users. “We used an online panel comprised of several million double opt-in respondents, one of the largest in the country, and added multiple quality checks to best ensure accurate outcomes,” explained the company’s president and director of research Michael Greeson.

However, it’s worth noting that the relative size of these subscription services inevitably leads to small sample sizes, which can result in significant variation. HBO’s online service surpassed 5 million subscribers this year, while Showtime has more 5 million subscribers together with CBS ALL Access.

A Showtime spokesperson told Variety after the initial publication of this story that the percentage reflected in this survey for Showtime was significantly off, but declined to comment on Amazon’s actual share.

Amazon Dominates Direct-to-Consumer TV Network Subscriptions (PRNewsfoto/The Diffusion Group)
CREDIT: Courtesy of The Diffusion Group

Amazon launched Channels as an add-on program for Prime Video subscribers at the end of 2015, and has since continuously grown the number of video services available through channels. The company also briefly experimented with selling its own niche video services through Channels, but gave up on that strategy earlier this year.

Sources at participating video providers have long told Variety that Amazon has become a massive reseller, easily outpacing Google’s and Apple’s app stores. The success of Amazon’s program also hasn’t been lost on Apple, which is reportedly looking to resell standalone video subscription services via its TV app on Apple TV and mobile devices. However, those plans may not materialize until next year, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

“Amazon has quietly built a stronghold in the burgeoning direct-to-consumer market,” said TDG president Michael Greeson. “Even with Apple’s pending entry into this space, we expect this dominance to expand further in the next five years.”

One advantage that Apple may have over Amazon is pricing: Amazon Channels is currently only available to Prime subscribers, who have to pay $119 per year after Amazon’s recent price increase. Apple on the other hand is expected to make its Channels clone available without any additional fees.

Update: This post was updated multiple times with further details on The Diffusion Group’s methodology as well as a statement from Showtime.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Sonos Q4 Results: Revenue, Losses Grow,

    Sonos Acquires Voice Assistant Startup Snips for $37.5 Million

    Smart speaker maker Sonos is getting ready to take a more active role in voice control: Sonos announced the acquisition of Paris- and Tokyo-based voice assistant startup Snips Wednesday. Snips had been developing a platform to launch dedicated voice assistants for smart speakers and other devices. Sonos spent $37.5 million in cash on the startup, [...]

  • Ramin Arani - Vice Media

    Vice Hires Fidelity Veteran Ramin Arani as CFO (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vice Media Group appointed Ramin Arani, a 26-year veteran of Fidelity Investments and an early adviser to Vice, as its new chief financial officer. Arani, reporting to CEO Nancy Dubuc, will lead all financial and accounting functions for Vice Media Group. Following Vice Media Group’s recent acquisition of Refinery29, Arani will also work to unify [...]

  • Jim Cornette

    Jim Cornette Resigns From National Wrestling Alliance After 'Offensive' On-Air Statement

    Professional wrestling mainstay Jim Cornette has resigned his position with the National Wrestling Alliance. “Effective immediately: Jim Cornette has resigned from the National Wrestling Alliance,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday. “As an announcer on the November 19th edition of ‘NWA Power,’ Jim made remarks during a singles match between Nick Aldis and [...]

  • Sarah Silverman

    As TV Consumption Shifts, Streamers Struggle With How to Apply Programming Standards

    When she launched her ultimately short-lived Hulu talk show  “I Love You, America” in 2017, Sarah Silverman wanted to make a point. This wasn’t a traditional broadcast or cable talk show with content restrictions or language limits — and so she experimented with that freedom on her very first episode. “Because we can — we’re [...]

  • Chelsea Ursin, Host of Dear Young

    'Disgraceland' Host Expands iHeartMedia Partnership With Slate of New Music Podcasts

    Jake Brennan, the creator and host of popular podcast “Disgraceland,” and his business partner Brady Sadler have launched Double Elvis Productions, a new audio-driven media company that will create original entertainment properties. Its initial slate of projects include four music-focused podcasts in partnership with iHeartMedia and as part of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. The first on deck [...]

  • Disney-Plus-mobile-app

    Disney Responds to Disney Plus Hacked Accounts: 'No Evidence of a Security Breach'

    Thousands of Disney Plus accounts have reportedly been hacked and stolen — and offered for sale on underground cybercrime forums. Disney has now responded, saying only a “small percentage” of the service’s 10 million-plus users have seen their usernames and passwords compromised and that Disney Plus systems were not breached by hackers. “We have found [...]

  • Tony Parker159th charity wine auction at

    Tony Parker to Be Ambassador for Game Shakers Awards at Esports BAR Cannes

    Former basketball star and entrepreneur Tony Parker will be the ambassador for the third edition of the Game Shakers Awards during Esports BAR Cannes, the three-day conference hosted by Reed Midem, the organizer of MipTV, Mipcom and Midem. Set to take place Feb. 11, 2020, the Game Shakers Awards is a competitive section bringing together [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content