Amazon expands Amazon Channels to UK, Germany, taking aim at pay-TV users

The race to control the TVison, and today comes some news out of Europe underscoring Amazonsambitions in that department. The e-commerce giant announced the launch of Amazon Channels in the UK and Germany its two biggest marketplaces in the region which will see Amazon, for the first time, offer close to50live and on-demand streamed channels to the region as part of its Amazon Prime service.

This is not just the first time that Amazon will offer live TV in Europe, tapping into what remains the most popular format for Tv viewing in the region, despite the insurgence of on-demand content via the internet. Notably, Amazon Channelswill be the first time that many popular channels like Discovery will be available for people to pay for and watch without subscribing to a larger, more expensive bundle of channels through a pay-TV provider like Sky or BT.

In other words, this will let Amazon squarely target consumers who are tired of paying high monthlypremiums and are consideringcord-cutting. Prices for each channel on Amazon Channels will range from 1.49/ month to 9.49/ month, with many coming in at around 3.99 -4. 99.

We asked, but Amazon declined to specify what the business model is for Amazon Channels, ifit gets a percentage from each subscription and what that might be.( As a point of comparison, Apple takes 30 percentage on in-app buys, but merely 15 percent when those purchases are subscriptions .)

For the first time, Prime members in the UK and Germany will be able to choose to watch premium Tv channels without having to sign up to a bundle or a contract, devoting them the freedom to pay for only what they want to watch, said Alex Green, MD, Europe, Amazon Channels, in a statement. From live athletic to Bollywood, art house cinema to reality TV, and award-winning Tv displays from popular channels like Discovery and ITV, Amazon Channels dedicates power back to customers to choose exactly what they want to watch.

While cord cutting has been a fairly significant topic in the U.S. market, in the U.K. and Germany there have been precious few options for people to pick and choose what they want to watch, with most people instead getting tied into large packages, or taking nothing at all.

Amazon Prime, for background, is the companys all-in-one subscription( 7.99/ month or 5.99/ month for only video in the UK; 8.99/ month or 7.99/ month for video in Germany ), and as in the U.S ., Amazon throwsin lots of thingstotie people into paying for it each month and usingAmazon for their variousshopping requires. These days, this includes free and fast shipping, and amusement likeAmazon Music and Prime Video.

And as with other Amazon video services and unlike some others like Apple TV thereis no shortage of ways to devour Amazon Channels. You will be able to access Amazon Channels via Amazons Prime Video app, as well as the Amazon Video app on smart TVs, iOs and Android mobile devices; AmazonFire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets; games consoles; and finally through the very best old world wide web.( Oh, and if you believe research reports, maybe through Apple TV soon, too .)

This is a somewhat slow rollout of Amazon Channels, which first launched in the U.S. back in 2015 with thesignificantly less catchy title of Amazon Streaming Partners. It comes on the heels of Amazon already offering a sizeable number of titles on demand directly or through third-party partners.

Launching Amazon Channels in Europe, in contrast, dedicates Amazon a direct line for providing content itself. It follows a number of other moves that Amazon has been making in the areas of video, amusement and TV.These include 😛 TAGEND Amazons launching of the Echo Showearlier this month itsAlexa voice-powered home hub with a screen which we noted at the time looked like a small screen Tv and felt like a very significant step towards making an actual TV set. Amazons growing its relation with more established pay-TV providers for example, its integration with Dish TV in the U.S. announced yesterday, which lets you control your Dish service with your voice. Amazons sizeable original content endeavors, making its own films and Tv displays. Earlier this year the company picked up its first Oscars. Amazon ramping up its live events businesswith music concerts, and tying thesein with a video component. As with so much of Amazons new endeavours, this is rolling out as a perk for Prime subscribers. Amazons reported interest in bidding for broadcast rights for sports like tennis and rugby.

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