Amazon Adds Showtime, Starz Offering to Prime Subscribers

Online retail giant Amazon launches a program that lets networks like Showtime and Starz sell subscriptions to their online video services to Prime members.

Last Updated: December 8, 2015 @ 1:25 PM

Get ready to put a Showtime subscription in your Amazon shopping cart next to an order of toilet paper.

Amazon launched a program for television and streaming video companies Tuesday that allows them to sell subscriptions to members of the company’s $99-a-year Prime program, best known for free, two-day shipping.

The move marries two of the e-commerce giant’s strengths: online retail and digital video. Amazon has been aggressively ramping up its presence in entertainment, building its own Netflix-like subscription video service with original shows and movies as well as developing tablets and over-the-top boxes to deliver streaming content to consumers. The new Streaming Partners Program allows programmers to more easily sell over-the-top subscriptions to Prime members, a group of “tens of millions” of people who already have credit cards on file.

The program also lifts the onus of customer service, billing and managing device compatibility, which Amazon will handle.

Amazon declined to specify the terms of its partnerships.

Companies participating in the launch include CBS’ Showtime, Starz, A+E Network’s Lifetime Movie Club, and AMC’s SundanceNow Doc Club and Shudder, a streaming service for horror fans, among others. Partners also include digital-native video companies like DramaFever, Cinedigm and Defy Media.

The program offers options like free trials, special pricing for Prime members and unified search.

“By marrying Showtime with the powerhouse retail capabilities of Amazon, we continue to greatly expand our footprint, making sure our service is available to new subscribers whenever and however they want to watch us,” David Nevins, Showtime Networks president, said in a release.