Amazon Reveals Curated TV Subscriptions Strategy with 'Anime Strike' Prime Channel

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Amazon launched Anime Strike this week, the company's first self-branded content to appear under its Channels subscriptions program for Prime members.

Anime Strike offers U.S. Prime members access to over 1,000 anime TV shows and movies for an extra $4.99 per month on top of the $99 Prime subscription. Amazon says the adult-themed channel will serve up seinen classics as well as weekly anime exclusives from Japan. A seven-day free trial lets Prime members check out the channel, which features "The Great Passage", "Scum's Wish", and "Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga", as well as anime classics like "Paprika" and "Tokyo Godfathers".

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Amazon's existing add-on video subscription services include channels such as HBO, Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Plus, and Cinemax, but Anime Strike is the company's first own-branded, curated offering. Speaking to Variety, Amazon said it plans to launch additional branded subscription VOD channels in the coming months.

The move indicates intensifying competition among streaming services, with a wider range of exclusive content becoming increasingly necessary if companies are to fend off rival offerings. Back in November, sources claimed Apple was considering a price drop for Apple Music in time for the holiday period, with Amazon cited as the "biggest motivation" for the discussions over monthly pricing. However, the service's $9.99 price tag remains in place, and with reports this week that Apple is planning to create its own original TV shows for Apple Music, more content rather than lower cost appears to be the overriding strategy.

Amazon already serves up original TV content to Prime members through Instant Video, while the company's Amazon Music Unlimited service costs $7.99 per month (or $9.99 per month for non-Prime members). According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has held talks with a number of sports leagues including the NFL and NBA about obtaining live game rights, with a view to either including a sports package as part of its Prime membership or offering it as a paid add-on.

In July of last year, Amazon U.S. was estimated to have 63 million Prime members – more than half the online retailer's customer base.

Top Rated Comments

rictus007 Avatar
53 months ago
Meanwhile I'm still waiting for an amazon app for Apple TV
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redscull Avatar
53 months ago
Of all the streaming services, I find Amazon's to be the worst (both in title selection and video quality). If I didn't take advantage of the shipping perk regularly, there is no way I'd continue my Prime subscription.

And on topic, this news is particularly ironic because Amazon censors its anime offerings on Prime. They think I'll pay them extra for more butchered content? No thanks. It's practically insulting.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
invalidname Avatar
53 months ago
Many anime fans are actually pretty livid about this, since Amazon has locked up one of the Winter season's few good shows, Scum's Wish, and the price is pretty hefty if you're not already a Prime subscriber. Even if you are, $5/month is arguably not worth a small number of exclusives and a bunch of stuff available elsewhere.

Anime fans had been counting on the consolidation of the streaming market with last year's tie-up between leading services Crunchyroll and Funimation (which are now both available as part of the $10/mo Vrv bundle… EDIT: and are also available free-with-commercials), and the thought of needing to pay for four or five separate subscriptions has more than a few fans publicly proclaiming that they're just going to go back to the piracy tactics that were mainstream prior to the emergence of Crunchyroll.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
53 months ago

Many anime fans are actually pretty livid about this, since Amazon has locked up one of the Winter season's few good shows, Scum's Wish, and the price is pretty hefty if you're not already a Prime subscriber. Even if you are, $5/month is arguably not worth a small number of exclusives and a bunch of stuff available elsewhere.

Anime fans had been counting on the consolidation of the streaming market with last year's tie-up between leading services Crunchyroll and Funimation (which are now both available as part of the $10/mo Vrv bundle), and the thought of needing to pay for four or five separate subscriptions has more than a few fans publicly proclaiming that they're just going to go back to the piracy tactics that were mainstream prior to the emergence of Crunchyroll.

Well anime fans are going to be at the front of a long line of livid fans of multiple genres. This is what it's going to be going forward. Tons of mini subscriptions to get the full compliment of what you want. That a la carte pipe dream a lot of people want is unsustainable. Always has been, always will be. So people will have to pony up for a load of mini subscriptions or pirate. Good times.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amacfa Avatar
53 months ago
So I have to pay more on top of membership charge? No thanks. I'll continue to use google to get my free anime
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
53 months ago

Not something I will personally use, but always good to see Amazon expanding Prime and including new options. The fact that they are never content with their current state of the Prime service is one of the reasons I choose them over Netflix.

How long before Amazon makes their "prime" package have less features/content so they an spin it off as another add-on?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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