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Television Businesses The Almighty Buck Transportation United States Entertainment

Amazon Prime Will Soon Be More Popular Than Cable TV (recode.net) 116

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Recode: Someday soon, more U.S. households will be subscribers of Amazon Prime than cable or satellite TV, according to recent estimates of Amazon's popular shipping and entertainment service. According to estimates from Morningstar, nearly 79 million U.S. households now have an Amazon Prime membership*, up from around 66 million at the end of last year. That compares to a projected 90 million U.S. households that will pay for cable or satellite TV this year, according to S&P Global. According to these estimates, more U.S. households may have an Amazon Prime subscription than a pay TV subscription as soon as next year. The implication here is not that Amazon's Prime Video service is more popular than TV; the main reason most people subscribe to Amazon Prime is still the fast delivery of products.

Amazon Prime Will Soon Be More Popular Than Cable TV

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  • Amazon Prime has a long way to go if they want to keep with cable TV. They have a horrible selection of shows and generally it's like 1 or 2 seasons, with you needing to rent/buy the rest. Netflix & Hulu have way more decent content to watch.

    If Amazon Prime wants to be better then cable TV, then they need to start securing better content.

    • by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @10:57PM (#54791053)
      Also worth noting that their UI is atrocious.
      I dare you to try to find something to watch.
      It's a struggle to sift out Prime content from rental content from digital purchase content.
      The entire time you're trying to find something, you have to be vigilant to ensure that the things you are looking at are in fact included with Prime. Just browsing to find something interesting isn't an option, like with cable TV.
      • It's a struggle to sift out Prime content from rental content from digital purchase content.

        Have you tried the "Included with Prime" section of Amazon Video?

      • I agree - although Netflix is worse.

        Amazon isn't terrible for stumbling over something you might want to watch. They really, really need to make a way to only show free stuff though (even just a "row" of free stuff would be a good start. They also need the 'profile' feature of Netflix so my kids can look at something age-appropriate (and can't see stuff I'm not going to pay for).

      • Also worth noting that their UI is atrocious.

        I dare you to try to find something to watch.

        It's a struggle to sift out Prime content from rental content from digital purchase content.

        The entire time you're trying to find something, you have to be vigilant to ensure that the things you are looking at are in fact included with Prime. Just browsing to find something interesting isn't an option, like with cable TV.

        Amazon Prime told me that its top movies were Waterworld and Salt. Its as if they have no clue at all.

      • Agreed, their video search bites pretty bad. The interface (on the playstation 3) is extra extra slow now b/c if you go to the "right" it takes time to load, and if that was an accident, you have to wait 5 or 10 seconds to go back to the "left" where the lists are. HATE IT.

        With Netflix, they also screwed when they updated the Playstation 3 app/prog a year or two ago, so that you can't "page sideways" through lists with the fastforward buttons (I use the PS3 remote).

        Two things I do like on Amazon though:

        1. "

  • by madsenj37 ( 612413 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @10:34PM (#54790945)
    Subscribers does not mean popular. It comes with flat rate shipping. This is not comparable to just cable, Netflix, Hulu, etc. The selection is awful sparing a few shows and movies, I never look to Amazon for my streaming entertainment.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Agreed. I have Amazon prime since I live in Latin America and Amazon is pretty much the only way I can buy many US products not available here overseas. The free 2nd day shipping for $99/yr means I can usually get my stuff within a week after mail forwarding and customs and with the amount of stuff I buy it gets paid for very quickly. I've looked at their tv shows/movies and frankly the selection is a lot worse than Netflix - PLUS they do region locking for many titles so I simply can't view most of their c
    • Subscribers does not mean popular. It comes with flat rate shipping.

      Wow, you read TFS!

      The implication here is not that Amazon's Prime Video service is more popular than TV; the main reason most people subscribe to Amazon Prime is still the fast delivery of products.

      The point isn't that Amazon Prime Video is more popular than cable. The point is that Amazon Prime as a thing is more popular than cable. It's like saying something is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Great how? Answer, popularity.

  • Amazon gives up on pushing Fire TV devices and makes a deal with Apple for Apple TV to be the main standalone Prime Video access device. This happens in September or October this year when Apple announces the new 4K Apple TV.

    • So you think, if and when Apple TV catches up, Amazon will just drop out of the market? Why? Makes no sense. They've already got a superior product and are a year ahead based on product release dates.

      • It sounds like they are saying that when Apple TV goes live with this new Amazon Prime, the Amazon Prime Video app on my android tablet will get nerfed or simply shitcanned. If and when that happens is when I'll decide if I want to continue with Amazon Prime. I definitely won't buy the Apple product to continue if that happens.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Every Amazon device was highly promoted on Prime Day, but the Fire TV didn't get mentioned at all. Meanwhile at Apple's WWDC in June, a new refresh of Apple TV for the fall was mentioned along with Amazon's TV apps on Apple TV. Add these together and you get my prediction.

        Apple TV has big market share. An alliance between Apple and Amazon on streaming video would be advantageous to both companies.

        • Amazon had prime day deals on their new TV's with amazon fire built in. In fact a 50 inch 4k tv with a sound bar, antenna, and firetv built in for $399 is an amazing deal.

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            Yeah, but that's useless for people who aren't buying a new TV. A lot more people would buy a Fire TV stick or a Fire TV box, but Amazon wasn't very interested in selling those products yesterday.

            • The fire stick is popular enough they don't need to. The last time I was in best buy there was a limit of 2 per customer.

        • Apple TV has 5%. Fire TV has 12%, Roku has 18%. https://9to5mac.com/2017/04/03... [9to5mac.com]

          He's dead, the reality distortion field has collapsed, get on with it.

        • Apple TV is one of the least popular streaming devices out there. Amazon giving Apple exclusivity for Prime Video would not be an equitable trade and Apple would be paying out the nose for that kind of deal.

    • I'm not really understanding why. As others have pointed out, AppleTV is pretty much a non-player in the market. Prime Sticks are selling like crazy, and Roku (the major neutral platform) has been out in a 4k version for quite a while.

      If they were to partner with someone, Roku would make more sense. They already do, in a way, in that the default remote includes Amazon as a one-touch button; Roku also highlights a single content provider (currently Fandango) on their core user interface. Presumably Apple

  • Although I've been a Prime member for many years, I've watched a handful of videos on Prime over the years - so comparing them to cable subscribers is I feel really stretching things. I feel like there is no way they have the viewership that Netflix does...

    The Prime video app is really not good. It also doesn't help they have no AppleTV app (but they are about to change that). I'm sure slowly over time viewership will ramp up, but they are not there yet...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "They don't like paying over $100/month for a pretty basic package loaded with useless channels? Fuck 'em. Watch them cry when they invite friends over to their house."

    "They didn't pay their bill on time? Fuck 'em. Cut off their service immediately, even if the big game was on."

    "They're having service problems? We'll send someone over at OUR convenience. They better be home all day because our guys have lots of stops to make and they can't make appointments."

    "They want to cancel their service? Don't l

  • Conflation. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @10:57PM (#54791051)

    This conflates accessibility with actual use under the term "popularity". I have yet to hear anyone say, "hey, did you watch that show on Amazon Prime?" but I've heard plenty of people talking about stuff on cable tv. Similarly, I have yet to hear anyone talk about how they eat their own shit for dinner despite 100% of people having access to their own shit. -_-

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The story simply states that the number of Amazon Prime subscribers will soon surpass the number of cable subscribers. It doesn't say anything about how much those people use the service.

      Hey, did you watch that show on Amazon Prime The Man in the High Castle?

      There, now you've heard it so shut your needlessly pedantic bitch mouth.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The Man in the High Castle is pretty good. Season 1 was a little slow, but season 2 was excellent.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously? Dude, syphilis is more popular than Cable TV.

  • You get it with Amazon Prime now but in the future it will become tiered

    • I recall an article somewhere that quoted Bezos as stating that he wanted to make it such a value that not being an Amazon Prime member would seem "irresponsible", so I doubt they'll tier anymore than they have to.
    • They already do to a certain extent, there's a free tier of music streaming that comes with Prime, but a more Rhapsody like service available for a subscription fee. Given they're also selling HBO (and a few other) subscriptions, I can easily see them creating a premium video content collection package.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yup. Pretty soon your wives are going to be sleeping with the Amazon drone. Just like the milk man did to our wives back then. Only way you can do away with him is to kill Amazon drone. But then again, you wouldn't do that. Yup. Better just let Amazon drone do whatever he wants. Maybe he'll get bored of sleeping with your wives. Yup.

  • I get that most only have Prime for the shipping, but Prime Video isn't as horrible as all that. There's plenty of overlap with Netflix (which I have sub to as well) but I use it and like it. It's interface *used* to be somewhat lacking, to put it charitably, but it's improved immensely over the time I've been subscriber.
  • Love it. I HATE driving somewhere to get something that I don't "have to have" right now. Prime, it's here in a couple days. Plus, I think I've watched about every documentary on WW2, WW1, Civil war, etc on Prime video they have this past winter, or when the weather is bad.

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