Sports on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service could potentially be hived off into a separate stand-alone app
Amazon could be about to shake up its streaming video content service, other known as Prime Video.
The Information, citing people briefed on the conversations, reported this week that Amazon has discussed doing a stand-alone app for watching sports content online.
The move comes as CEO Andy Jassy doubles down on the company’s streaming ambitions, amid a difficult time for the e-commerce giant as it seeks to rein in costs as it grapples with slowing growth in its core retail business as consumers reduce their spending.
To this end Amazon in November confirmed it would axe 10,000 jobs, with the bulk of the job losses reportedly focused on Amazon’s devices organisation (i.e. Alexa Echo devices), its retail division, and ironically its human resources department.
Andy Jassy stated that layoffs would continue into 2023, with job losses hitting Amazon Alexa voice assistant unit particularly hard, which is apparently falling out of favour at the e-commerce giant.
This is despite Amazon’s Alexa boasting a presence in million of UK homes thanks to its integration into Amazon’s Echo devices for the past decade. Indeed Alexa, for millions of users, has been the one of the leading voice assistants they interact with.
Despite this, it seems that Alexa has never managed to create an ongoing revenue stream for Amazon, and it doesn’t really make any money, with it being labelled internally as a “colossal failure of imagination,” and “a wasted opportunity.”
Now the Information reported that Amazon is mulling a stand-alone app for watching sports content.
While one of those people told the Information that Amazon hasn’t made a decision about whether to proceed on the effort, the discussions suggest Amazon could be thinking about new ways to squeeze revenue out of the billions of dollars in deals it has inked to stream live sports events, which so far it have mostly included in the standard Prime membership.
Jassy recently highlighted streaming rights for live sports in particular as a place he’ll likely keep spending even as Amazon steps up its efforts to cut costs in other areas of its business.
Sports remains one of the biggest attractions for live viewing, as audiences increasingly move from pay TV subscriptions to streaming apps.
Amazon already owns the rights to stream games such as the National Football League’s Thursday Night Football franchise in the United States, and the UK’s Premier League football matches.
At the time of writing it is not clear when (or indeed if) Amazon will roll out the sports app.
The cost of Amazon’s Prime service for UK subscribers rose in September, as the e-commerce giant passed on its increased delivery fuel costs to customers.
But Amazon continues to invest in its Prime Video service. It should be remembered that Amazon purchased veteran film studio MGM in May 2021 for $8.45 billion, gaining access to all its films produced during a century of film making.