Remember the livingroom? I remember mine. On cold winter nights, the whole family would gather around the television, and we’d sip hot chocolate and laugh at Budweiser commercials together. Legends say the livingroom is still somewhere in the house collecting dust to this very day, but we don’t go to the livingroom anymore. Now our entertainment comes to us: on our tablets, our laptops, our smartphones. Today, Amazon is bringing its Prime subscribers a bit of TV nostalgia by effectively bringing channels to video streaming.
Amazon has launched their “Streaming Partners” program, a system that unifies streaming video services and lets you switch smoothly between them through your Prime account. Like television channels, but streaming. The goal, it seems, is to get all of your video services together in one place, but upon release, it’s not quite there yet. Major players like HBO GO and Netflix aren’t available, which isn’t really surprising. Instead, Amazon is leaning on smaller services like IndieFlix and Qello. Starz, Showtime, and AMC also got into the action, which is a big plus.
Amazon looks to augment current streaming services in a number of ways. Search functionality that spans all attached subscriptions seems pretty useful, and Amazon’s “X-Ray” integration, which allows users to read about what they’re watching via IMDb in a sort of modern version of Pop-Up Video, will be incorporated into videos even outside the Prime video library. The megastructure of the Streaming Partners Program promises to let users manage payment for all of these services within a single interface, allowing them to cancel or subscribe to any of available services at the drop of a hat.
The full list of services available on launch is as follows, according to Amazon:
Initial launch partners include: SHOWTIME, STARZ, A+E Network (Lifetime Movie Club), AMC (Shudder and SundanceNow Doc Club), Gaia, RLJ Entertainment (Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, Acacia TV), DramaFever (DramaFever Instant), Tribeca Short List, Cinedigm (Dove Channel, Docurama, CONtv), Smithsonian (Smithsonian Earth), IndieFlix (IndieFlix Shorts), Curiosity Stream, Qello, FlixFling (Cinefest, Nature Vision, Warriors and Gangsters, Dox, Monsters and Nightmares), BroadbandTV (Hooplakidz Plus), DEFY Media (ScreenJunkies Plus), Gravitas (Film Forum, Daring Docs, Fear Factory), and Ring TV Boxing.
If you’re a Prime member and you want to get the full scoop on what this service can do for you, click the button below to head over to the Streaming Partners Program hub. Let us know in the comments what you think about Amazon’s latest improvement to video streaming.