Streaming Partnership Galore As Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Joins Hands with CBS Corporation (CBS)


Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) joining hands with Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ:VA) is quite understandable as it seeks to expand its presence and viewership. However, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) joining hands with CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) might be a surprise to some. That is because it was not charging its subscribers and has been offering it as a freebie to its Prime Now membership program, whose ultimate aim is to attract members for the free delivery scheme. However, the online retailer appears to be taking the streaming video service as a serious one and started to compete with the leader.

Netflix – Virgin America Alliance

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has teamed up with Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ:VA) to provide Wi-Fi to its subscribers free of cost on selected routes for unlimited video streaming. Customers have started to get access to the video-on-demand service. That included original content like ‘Orange Is The New Black’, and ‘House of Cards’ to the subscribers’ smartphones or tablets or laptops without any additional costs until March 2 next year. After that, Internet fees will become applicable.

The streaming video service provider’s Global Head of Business Development, Bill Holmes, said that it was going to be highly possible for subscribers to enjoy whatever they want from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). That is primarily because Wi-Fi has become more omnipresent. He was happy to align with Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ:VA) so that the subscribers can enjoy streaming video even while they were flying. Virgin America is using the alliance to advertise its Wi-Fi upgrades. The company revealed an alliance with ViaSat earlier this summer to offer Internet speeds, which would be on par with that of the wireline broadband.

Amazon – CBS Deal

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) have agreed to extend their alliance on streaming. The agreement will cover three new summer series until 2018. The series will start with a comedic thriller ‘BrainDead’ next year. It was from the creators of ‘The Good Wife’. The agreement also enables the online marketplace firm to gain entry to the show four days following the premier on CBS. Three years back, the quick turnaround model was introduced by CBS for drama ‘Under the Dome’. It was also crucial financing source for the Eye in the extension of its slate of summer scripted series.

The online retailer has been given the rights to ‘Extant’, a Halle Berry starrer, in the second season. However, the last summer’s fresh entry, “Zoo” went to the streaming video-on-demand window. CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) is yet to disclose on the renewals of ‘Zoo’ or ‘Extant’. Though the pack is said to be rich with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the summer shows would be available for streaming on CBS All Access.

Management Comments

The online marketplace firm’s VP of digital video content acquisition, Brad Beale, said that its Prime members liked the access to series such as ‘Extant, and ‘Under The Dome’. He said that company was excited to provide in-season availability of several CBS summer series in the next three-year period. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will also ensure that its members get the best selection that will satisfy its members.

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS)’s Chief Corporate Licensing Officer, Scott Koondel, said that he was thrilled to establish its alliance with the online retailer with fresh original summer series. He said that ‘Braindead’ would be one of the much-talked about shows.

Competition Heats Up

The long-term understanding that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) struck with CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) indicates that it was taking the streaming video business seriously. However, it is yet to take efforts to attract membership solely for the streaming video. Its winning of five Emmy awards this year also suggests that the online retailer is taking Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) seriously as a rival.

Since the streaming video-on-demand is only beginning to explode, there will be plenty of opportunities for growth prospects for more than two players. Non-the-less, both Netflix and Amazon does not want to give up their position.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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