Sling TV popularized the “skinny bundle” of cable networks when it launched in 2015 and numerous services, such as PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, Hulu TV, and YouTube TV, have followed suit. Amazon has long been rumored to jump on the bandwagon with their own bundled TV service, but now it sounds like they’ve scrapped those plans, according to a report from Reuters.
Amazon is said to have initially wanted to offer “a limited bundle of key broadcast and cable networks for a set fee” but decided not to move forward because the profit margin on such a service would be too low. Their efforts to unbundle networks in order to offer them a la carte as Amazon Channels resulted in too much resistance.
Many companies, most notably Apple, have hit similar resistance and have given up when trying to change the decades-old business models used by cable networks. The issue seems to always be an unwillingness to unbundle unpopular channels from popular ones.
This resistance is likely why the current landscape of streaming services aimed at cord cutters so closely resembles traditional cable. Despite having more over-the-top streaming options than ever, nearly all of them still require customers to pay for channels they don’t want in order to get the channels they care about.