A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about OTT and cord shaving that touched on how cable TV companies could leverage their connections to homes by offering new services such as program search. I also predicted business models that would provide cord shavers with a la carte channel subscriptions. I was recently surprised to see announcements from Amazon and Yahoo within days of each other that bring both of these ideas to reality.
Yahoo made available for iOS and Android the Plus7 TV Guide App, which is a comprehensive program guide for every channel. Use it to find out what’s on TV now and up to a week ahead. Search by channel, timeslot, movies, sports, entertainment and more. The app includes useful features such as watchlist creation for favorite shows for finding when they are on next and on what channel, reminders just ahead of when programs start, series link notifications each week, and finding episodes for catch up.
Amazon Prime “Streaming Partners Program” allows subscribing to premium channels Showtime, Starz, and many more streaming services on an individual basis. Other available subscriptions include on-demand music performances, Lifetime Movie Club and SundanceNow Documentary Club. Prime members get free trials on all subscriptions, and discounts on pricing, compared to subscribing directly to the channels.
What is particularly interesting is how Amazon is essentially becoming a platform for other content owners and channels. The option of plugging into Amazon’s established audience is appealing. Amazon says it will assist these partners acquire more subscribers, handle billing, customer service, credit cards, and deal with streaming content to different devices. At the same time, partners get to keep their name and brand intact. Including these services solves a growing problem of multiple subscription monthly billing for households.
What is clear from these announcements is how dynamic the home entertainment space has become, and how competition is heating up to meet demands of audiences in how they purchase and consume video content.