Amazon launches add-on subscription service for TV networks and media collections


Amazon has just launched their new add-on subscription service for Prime Video, which gives us the closest thing we’ve seen yet to a true à la carte TV channel service. The service is launching with 30 different content collections for Amazon Prime customers to pick and choose the media that appeals to them. Collections range from big network names like Showtime and Starz with thousands of movies and TV shows included, to much smaller niche collections like Smithsonian Earth which currently includes a few dozens episodes from 5 different shows. Prices range from $2.99 per month for something like Warriors & Gangsters, which unlocks 45 action movies distributed by FlixFling, to $8.99 for networks like Showtime and Starz, which include 600+ and 800+ TV shows and movies respectively, to $9.95 for Gaia, which includes over one thousand videos.

The service is currently only available to Amazon Prime subscribers as a way to unlock additional content not available through Prime Video. No content has been removed from the Prime Video library to create the subscription service. In-fact, there is a tiny bit of overlap with some of the subscription collections and Prime Video. For instance, Starz’s subscription library of 826 TV shows and movies includes 38 TV shows and movies that are already included with Prime Video. This is just a small fluke we’re bound to see, caused by overlapping deals that both Amazon and Starz have made for the same content.

Each individual subscription comes with a free trial, that ranges from 7 to 30 days, before Amazon begins charging the monthly subscription fee. There is currently no way to subscribe to any of the collections through a Fire TV. You can subscribe to a collection through Amazon’s website or mobile apps, at which point the content will become available to watch for free through the Fire TV. For the time being, you will have to use the Fire TV’s search to find your subscribed content, as there is currently no way to browse just the content you’ve subscribed through on the Fire TV. That ability, as well as the option to subscribe directly on the Fire TV, is coming to Fire TV devices in a software update early next year.

See all 30 add-on subscriptions available at launch.

  1. Fact Police says:

    “which gives us the closest thing we’ve seen yet to a true à la carte TV channel service”

    What about Sling TV? They have more content, and actually give you access to live broadcasts.

  2. Craig says:

    very important question…do these movies stream from amazon’ servers?

    For example Guardians of the Galaxy normally would be $5.99 to rent from amazon and stream from their servers. if i signup for the starz is this movie going to stream from amazon’s video servers (which are awesome quality) or a separate starz app and server? i ask because i remember in the past starz play wasnt anywhere near the quality of netflix or amazon’s server quality.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I’m almost positive everything streams from Amazon. All of this content was already available from Amazon, just for rent/purchase. Now these subscriptions just “unlock” that content in one big bunch and make it as if that content was included with Prime Video. That’s why Amazon calls these “add-on” subscriptions.

  3. nealham says:

    Add 3 services and you’re adding almost $30/month on top of what you pay for prime. A la ripoff.

    • clocks says:

      30/month? Not sure how you got to that. I assume you are looking at the “premium” channels, that cable companys charge $15-$20 a month a piece for, like Showtime, Starz, etc, rather than the smaller cheaper channels.

  4. Tom42 says:

    I keep hearing “No content has been removed from the Prime Video library to create the subscription service” which is true, but this will cause Amazon to not add as much new content in the future (sans Amazon original programming). Why outbid Netflix & Hulu for TV shows & Movies when you can just sell add-on subscriptions which cost you nothing while they get a cut of the money they collect.

    Amazon gets to spend less while advertising they now provide the largest streaming library on earth

    • AFTVnews says:

      They already offered this content for rent/purchase before this new service, so their library size hasn’t changed. Just how you pay for it: individually vs bundled.

      This service is an extension of Prime. Without Prime being appealing on its own, there is no subscription service. I see this service as bridging the massive gap between subscription services like Prime/Netflix and buying/renting individual videos. Just looking at the Starz subscription shows the sheer number of videos that were only available by individual purchases/rentals prior to this service. Of the 800+ Starz movies and shows, only a few dozen were included in Prime. I’m not worried, for example, about Amazon removing those few dozen videos since it wouldn’t make a difference to the appeal of the Starz subscription.

  5. vulcan195 says:

    Both, Showtime and StarZ have same rental rates.

    Caveat Emptor!

    Showtime – 720p / Stereo
    StarZ – 1080p / DD 5.1

  6. JPeterman says:

    If I already pay for these channels via premium cable subscription, is there any way for me to take advantage of this? Of course good old Charter is not an available provider when using the native FTV apps. (Starz/Showtime)

    • Jonny says:

      I don’t think so, but yes, there definitely should be a way for people to connect with their cable companies. I believe that we get Starz for free and can watch via the stand-alone app, but I suppose that putting everything with Amazon would be nice, too.

    • Y314K says:

      Yeah, would be great if a Uverse or XFinity, etc TV account would unlock content within Amazon too… Instead of having to go thru an app… Without having to pay twice.. But doubt Amazon will allow it..

      • vulcan195 says:

        I have a Xfinity App which I sideloaded to the Fire TV – works great if you are fine with using a wireless keyboard to navigate.

    • vulcan195 says:

      If you can reduce your bill by $9 by dropping Starz from your cable provider – you can turn around and subscribe via Fire TV. Correct?

  7. Al Mecklenburg says:

    Does anyone know if the delivery “platforms/processes” have to be those listed above? In particular, we have a Samsung TV that “gets” Amazon Prime via our (external) Sony) Blu-ray player. Since we can get Amazon Prime on the Sony, can we also get an add-on subscription as well?

  8. Karen says:

    I was watching the Tudors through Amazon prime for free and now suddenly they’re asking me to pay for it. How is this an improvement?

  9. DG says:

    Since I already get Starz via DirecTV, is Starz via Amazon something different?

  10. Mr. Fightingman says:

    So all B-movie Asian fighting flicks i could watch for free in the past. Now i have to pay $2.99 per month for Warriors & Gangsters package. LAME!!!!!

  11. Eloise Gregory says:

    I want to stop Starz. Could you do that for me?

  12. jayne jarvis says:

    I wont too end my prime video, how do i stop subscription

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