Amazon and YouTube, two of the Big 3 online video services (along with Netflix and Hulu), are moving aggressively to acquire more premium content to their services. Amazon is rumored to be trying to bundle 3rd party services with its Amazon Prime Instant Video service. Meanwhile, YouTube is trying to make its YouTube Red subscription service more valuable by buying the rights to TV series and movies.
Bloomberg first reported on Amazon?s plans to add other services to Prime. This would allow Amazon to create its own bundles, using these outside TV and movie channels. It would be something of a hybrid service. Bloomberg characterized it as, ?something between a cable-TV subscription, though without live programming, and the online array of video offered through devices from Roku Inc., Apple TV or Amazon?s own Fire TV.?
Variety speculates that HBO and Showtime would be natural partners for Amazon?s new strategy.
YouTube, which recently launched its Red subscription service, is looking to bolster the service by adding more content from TV and film studios. The Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube is looking to license TV series and movies, just as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon already do. It?s part of their two-pronged strategy to increase the value of YouTube Red. The Journal quotes as unnamed source as saying, ?YouTube is still deciding how much content to license, but it is eager to have a robust collection of original programming and licensed programming in 2016 and beyond.?
So while the Big 4 online services are looking at creating new bundles, cable and networks continue to unbundle. In the last year, numerous cable channels and traditional networks have launched their own Over The Top services with Discovery being the latest to announce its OTT plans.