While you may associate Prime Video with hit shows such as The Boys or Reacher, Andrew Bennett wants you to know it’s so much more.
Bennett, vice president and head of video partnerships for Amazon, wants to convince both its users and partners that Prime Video is more than just a streaming service, but a one-stop shop for multiple offerings, from Max to Paramount+ and Crunchyroll, as well as a storefront to buy movies and shows. Since customers have an existing payment relationship with Amazon, it makes sense to bundle those different services together.
“We want to make it really clear for all of our device partners that when they think of Prime Video, think of it as a hub,” he said in an interview with Cord Cutters News earlier this month.
What Bennett is referring to is a trend that’s gathering steam called the “super bundle.” The idea is that one company that has your payment information essentially manages several subscriptions for you. In the case of Prime Video, it’s other services like Paramount+ or Max, which show up as “channels” in the Prime Video home screen.
While Bennett downplayed the idea of the “super bundle,” he said that the company is being strategic about the kinds of services Amazon will offer.
“We do those where we believe there’s a true incremental customer benefit,” he said.
While those services are available on Prime Video Channels, there aren’t many discounts for subscribing to multiple services. Bennett didn’t seem to think that was a priority, and is focused on the a la carte aspect of the storefront. “We’ll follow the customer lead on that,” he said. “If customers and partners want to pursue it, we will pursue it.”
Bennett, however, dismissed the idea of bundling Prime subscription itself with these other channels, at least in the U.S., arguing that so many people already have a subscription that it doesn’t make as much sense. He noted that in other countries, there are bundles that include Prime with other streaming subscriptions.
In addition to its various channels, Amazon also offers Freevee, a free, ad-supported streaming service that doesn’t require a Prime subscription.
“It provides a front porch or gateway to our video offerings,” he said.
Solving the Discovery Problem
The ultimate goal for the interface is to make it work so well that a connected TV experience will mimic the cable set-top TV guide, Bennett said.
He added that one of the big opportunities is offering alerts on real-time content, such as live sports.
“We want to make sure people are aware of what’s happening without an app being open,” he said.
Today marks the day that Amazon is introducing ads into its Prime Video service. The company has said that it plans to show fewer ads than its competitors, with subscribers able to opt out by paying $2.99 a month.