Amazon launches Prime Video Channels in Australia as part of an effort to secure a bigger slice of the local streaming market

Amazon launches Prime Video Channels in Australia as part of an effort to secure a bigger slice of the local streaming market
Hushidar Kharas, head of Amazon Prime Video Australia, said it’s a move the company hopes will simplify the local streaming experience. Photo: Supplied
  • Amazon Prime Video has launched its entertainment streaming aggregation service “Prime Video Channels” in Australia, in a bid to strengthen its foothold in the Australian market.
  • It promises to bring more options to Australian viewers through a single interface.
  • Hushidar Kharas, head of Amazon Prime Video Australia, said it’s a move the company hopes will simplify the local streaming experience, which currently competes with the likes of Stan, Foxtel, Netflix, Binge, and Apple TV+, among others. 
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Australian viewers will now be able to choose between a fleet of aggregated subscription options courtesy of Amazon Prime Video, including Paramount+ and AMC+, as the streaming giant moves to bolster its foothold in the local market. 

Amazon made its streaming aggregation service “Prime Video Channels” available to Australian viewers on Tuesday, which will make supplementary streaming options available to the market for an average of $7 a channel, with an initial 12-channel offering. 

Among them are Paramount+, hayu, STARZPLAY, MGM, OUTtv, and AMC+, which the streaming giant hopes will only strengthen its position in the market, and add to the roughly 2.9 million Australian subscribers it has locally. 

Hushidar Kharas, head of Amazon Prime Video Australia, said it’s a move the company hopes will simplify the local streaming experience, which currently competes with the likes of Stan, Foxtel, Netflix, Binge, and Apple TV among others. 

“We are excited to bring even more selection to our Prime members in Australia with the launch of Prime Video Channels,” Kharas said. 

“We are simplifying our customers’ entertainment experience, making it even  easier for them to select, subscribe, and enjoy their favourite TV shows and movies from top channel providers like Paramount+, STARZPLAY, and hayu, all within the Prime Video app.”

Kelly Day, president of streaming at ViacomCBS, which owns Paramount+, and Hendrick McDermott, managing director at hayu, each lauded the deal, which they said will help them build relationships with Australian audiences. 

According to Telsyte’s 2021 Australian Entertainment Subscription Study, entertainment subscriptions in Australia jumped to 42 million in June 2021 from the 37 million recorded the year before, with as many as 78% of Australian households home to at least one of them. 

That same study found that Netflix is still the first-choice streaming relationship among Australian viewers, after its subscriber base grew to 6 million subscriptions earlier this year.

Amazon Prime Video boasts the second-largest subscriber cohort, with 2.9 million, coming in just ahead of Disney+, which has 2.6 million. 

Nine’s Stan, the largest Australian-owned streaming platform, has 2.4 million subscribers, while Foxtel’s Kayo has 1.1 million subscribers. 

Some of the TV shows and films offered by Amazon’s aggregated streaming setup are set to compete with local services with far larger audiences, and Foxtel is likely to mount the firmest challenge. 

More than 3.5 million Foxtel subscribers in Australia already have access to many of the shows offered in Prime Video’s Paramount+ and AMC+ packages, like “Dexter” and “The Walking Dead”, which could likely prove to be their two marquee offerings. 

The streaming platform and cable TV service even has crossover on some of the reality TV shows set to be made available through Amazon’s hayu offering. Stan, meanwhile, is set to mount a sizable challenge too. 

Leora Nevezie, national media sector leader and partner at Deloitte, said last month that Australia’s streaming space is soon expected to reach an inflection point. 

Speaking on a recent survey conducted by the firm, she said that could see platforms move to bundle services, as Amazon Prime Video has now done with its channel offering, to address user pain points on cost and experience. 

“The average household is spending around $55 a month and in terms of what we saw in our survey, that’s coming out at about 10% more than people’s target budget,” Nevezie said.

“About 58% say that they are concerned about the rising cost of multiple subscriptions.”

She said that households, on average, are paying roughly $9 more per month than they’d like to be, and platforms are seeing heavy audience churn as a result. The next phase of the streaming wars, according to Nevezie, will be the creation of entertainment ecosystems.

“How can you build an ecosystem where you can grab those eyeballs and audiences and move them between content and services that have both free and paid with different types of revenue models?,” Nevezie said. 

“It’s not a subscription or advertising model, it becomes how do you move people around them and how do you capture those eyeballs and flick them from your sports service to your TV movie service to your music service to your online publications,” she said. 

“It’s a much better way of looking at it.”

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