Amazon abandons plans for bundled TV streaming package

Eric Abent - Nov 15, 2017
Amazon abandons plans for bundled TV streaming package

With services like YouTube and Hulu rolling out packages that bundle cable and broadcast networks together, the safe assumption is that other streaming providers will soon follow suit. Apparently, Amazon won’t be one of them, as it has supposedly abandoned efforts to put together a similar streaming package. It looks like Amazon’s video streaming line up will be limited to just Prime Video and Amazon Channels for at least a while longer.

That news comes from Reuters, which spoke to sources familiar with the matter. The problem with launching a service that bundles popular TV networks together is multi-faceted in this case. For starters, Amazon isn’t confident that it will be able to make a sustainable amount of money on such a service, which is enough to kill even the most exciting ideas before they even get off the ground.

Even if Amazon thought this would be a home run in terms of revenue, there’s still the problem of convincing those networks to play ball. Reuters’ sources claim that Amazon is having a difficult time getting those networks to break with the business models they’re currently clinging to. It seems that this includes getting those networks to sign on for Amazon Channels as well, which will be Amazon’s focus with its plans for a TV bundle now stalled.

Those sources say that plans for a TV bundle may not have been discarded entirely, as Amazon could still decide to pursue it at some point in the future. For the time being, though, talks about such a package have ended, so if we do eventually see one, it sounds like it won’t be any time soon.

On the surface, it seems like this might be a bigger loss for networks than it is for Amazon. Those networks need to find a way to adapt to changing trends, and even though Amazon is offering them the opportunity, they’re sticking with business models that are unappealing to younger viewers. Amazon seems to be doing pretty well for itself at the moment, having just announced a new Lord of the Rings TV series destined for Prime Video, so it has other areas where it can apply its focus and money if those networks don’t want to come to the table.

If Amazon figures out a way to make a decent chunk of change from a video service like the one we’re discussing, we’ll probably see it try again. For now, though, those who want access to live TV will have to stick with packages from a multitude of other companies, including YouTube, Hulu, and Sling TV. Stay tuned.

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