A potential bombshell report from TDG analyst Joel Espelien indicates that “credible” sources have confirmed that despite earlier reports, Amazon is still working to launch a streaming TV service in the first half of 2018.
Of special significance, both for Prime subscribers AND to rival streaming services, Amazon is expected to bundle the service as a “FREE” add-on for Amazon Prime subscribers:
TDG spoke with industry sources last week that confirmed Amazon is still working to launch a free skinny bundle of live TV channels as part of its Amazon Prime membership package in the first half of 2018. We’ve heard far too many rumors on the subject to jump at all of them, but these sources were particularly credible and seemed to contradict recent news that Amazon had ‘ditched’ these efforts.Joel Espelien – TDG
Amazon Prime currently has over 63 million subscribers. The Amazon Prime TV package would instantly become the market leader in terms of subscribers, dwarfing current market leader Sling TV’s estimated 2 million subscribers by a wide margin.
Such a service, especially considering that it would essentially be considered “Free” to the millions of Amazon Prime subscribers who would receive it, would be highly disruptive to the emerging streaming TV industry. It would likely peel off customers from rival streaming services DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, PS Vue and others who have entered the rapidly expanding live streaming TV market.
The core value proposition of the $99 yearly Amazon Prime subscription remains free two-day shipping. For the millions of prime subscribers who order everything from jungle stix to DVR enabled antennas from the e-commerce giant, the $99 yearly fee is justified entirely with the 2 day shipping it affords. As a result Espelien notes: “Everything else that comes with Prime (e.g., the VOD service, the music, access to e-books, etc.) feels like it’s free”.
Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber? If they offered a skinny bundle including your local broadcast networks, along with the vital sports, news and entertainment channels that existing services offer, would you drop your current provider and use Amazon Prime TV instead?
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