Amazon has announced that it’s expanding its subscription TV service, Amazon Channels, into the U.K., Austria, and Germany.
The internet giant first opened Amazon Video to third-party video-streaming services in the U.S. back in late 2015, letting those on the company’s $99 annual Prime membership service subscribe to the likes of Starz and Showtime from within a single platform. The company later rebranded the service as Amazon Channels and ushered in a some more big-name broadcasters, including HBO and Cinemax.
For the European arrival, a number of well-known local and global services are available, including ITV’s Hub+, Eurosport Player, MGM, Discovery, and indie movie service Mubi.
It’s worth noting here that subscribing to individual services through Amazon Channels isn’t really any cheaper than paying the service provider directly. By way of example, Mubi costs £5.99 a month when you subscribe directly through Mubi itself, while it costs exactly the same through Amazon Channels. Plus, when you subscribe to Mubi directly you can cancel at any time and you actually have the option to pay annually and save quite a bit of money, an option that isn’t available through Amazon Channels.
But what Amazon Channels does offer is a single interface with which to subscribe and view your favorite services, saving you the inconvenience of having to flip between apps. Everything is available through the Amazon Prime Video app.
It’s also worth noting here that some of the services available on Amazon Channels haven’t been available as individual subscriptions before, including Discovery, which so far has only been available through a packaged cable subscription service such as Sky.
Ultimately, this is about alleviating “subscription fatigue” — removing the need for multiple login credentials and apps, while letting users create a single watchlist for programming across all their subscriptions. So it’s perhaps less about saving money than it is about letting TV fans create their own convenient “TV bundle.”
Today’s news comes a week after Amazon expanded another Prime subscription perk beyond the U.S. when it extended its Prime Reading book service into the U.K.