Amazon expands subscription TV Channels service beyond the U.S. and into Europe

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Amazon has announced that it’s expanding its subscription TV service, Amazon Channels, into the U.K. and Germany.

The internet giant first opened Amazon Video to third-party video-streaming services in the U.S. back in late 2015, letting those on the company’s $99 annual Prime membership service subscribe to the likes of Starz and Showtime from within a single platform. The company later rebranded the service as Amazon Channels, and ushered in a some more big-name broadcasters including HBO and Cinemax.

For the European arrival, a number of well-known local and global services are available, including ITV’s Hub+, Eurosport Player, MGM, Discovery, and indie movie service Mubi.

It’s worth noting here that subscribing to individual services through Amazon Channels isn’t really any cheaper than paying directly to the service provider. By way of example, Mubi costs £5.99 a month when you subscribe directly through Mubi itself, while it costs exactly the same through Amazon Channels — and you can cancel at any time through either means. Plus, when you subscribe to Mubi directly you actually have the option to pay annually and save quite a bit of money, an option that isn’t available through Amazon Channels.

But what Amazon Channels offers is a single interface to subscribe to and view your favorite services, without having to flip between apps. Everything is available through the Amazon Prime Video app.

It’s also worth noting here that some of the available services on Amazon Channels haven’t been available before as individual subscriptions, including Discovery which so far has only been available through a packaged cable subscription service such as Sky.

Ultimately, this is about alleviating so-called “subscription fatigue,” and removes the need for multiple login credentials and apps, while also letting users create a single watchlist for programming across all their subscriptions. So it’s perhaps less about saving money, than it is about letting TV fans create their own convenient “TV bundle.”

Today’s news a week after Amazon expanded another Prime subscription perk beyond the U.S., when it introduced its Prime Reading book service into the U.K. too.

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