Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers will soon be able to add other major TV and movie channels to their subscription packages, Bloomberg Business reports, making Prime more like a cable TV service than competitors such as Hulu and Netflix. The new feature, which will see landing pages for other video companies appearing inside Prime Instant Video, could go live as soon as next month, according to people reportedly familiar with the plans.
It's not yet clear which companies have set up deals with Amazon, but shows and movies from other on-demand video services should be easily distinguished from Prime Instant Video's own offerings — they'll be launched from separate pages inside Amazon's service, and will be marked with the partner's branding. Bloomberg says that Amazon is also developing a way to allow Prime users to log in directly to the video services included in their subscription packages, and will be packaging together its own cable-TV-esque bundles to offer to consumers.
Amazon is also reportedly working on a live TV service
The efforts to expand Prime Instant Video are apparently separate from the company's attempts to launch its own live TV service, as reported back in October. Prime will continue to offer on-demand video only, but Amazon is said to be conducting preliminary talks with networks such as CBS and NBCUniversal to start another service, that may eventually compete with Apple's own planned internet TV product.
In partnering with Amazon, other on-demand services may lose some of the revenue they would get if a customer came to them directly, but stand to gain a larger consumer base. Bloomberg notes that Prime is thought to be the second-biggest internet TV service after Netflix, which was estimated to have 43.2 million US subscribers at the close of the last financial quarter, and Amazon's offering could give TV and movie networks a way to secure money from a younger and more internet-literate crowd that has been turning off the TV in favor of streaming video.