SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon has become the major player in the sale of subscriptions, new figures show, with the company selling 55% of all a la carte DTC video subscriptions through Amazon Channels.

As many as 53% of all consumers not buying HBO through a pay TV provider are buying it from Amazon Channels, according to Variety’s report on new data from The Diffusion Group (TDG), which surveyed 2,000 US broadband users.

For services such as Showtime and Starz, meanwhile, Amazon’s portion was even higher, with 72% and 70% of their respective direct subscriptions purchased through Prime Channels. Less than a third of subscriptions to these services were bought through their owned channels.

An add-on program for Prime subscribers, the Channels feature launched at the end of 2015 and has grown continuously ever since. Rumours of Amazon’s clout in this space have circulated for some time, with the e-commerce giant having reportedly grown more powerful than either Google or Apple’s offerings.

As Apple prepares to enter this space on its Apple TV and mobile devices, with some possible delays, Amazon has emerged as an early leader.

“Amazon has quietly built a stronghold in the burgeoning direct-to-consumer market,” said TDG president Michael Greeson. “Even with Apple’s pending entry into this space, we expect this dominance to expand further in the next five years.”

If Apple do launch a product, however, it might have some distinct advantages, Greeson continued, not least because it would own the customer relationship but none of the hosting, streaming, or support costs. Apple would hold one other significant advantage: “it would not require a $120/year membership before one can aggregate a la carte purchases through its TV app.”

Sourced from Variety, Bloomberg; additional content by WARC staff