Amazon had users scratching their heads last week when the online store announced plans to offer its streaming library for a monthly fee. Amazon Prime subscribers (including free shipping, access to music and ebooks) can continue to receive the service at an annual charge, or move to a monthly streaming-only subscription for $8.99.
Experts speculate Amazon’s new model is meant to compete directly with other popular streaming services like Hulu or Netflix. While I love a good episode of Mozart in the Jungle or Transparent, I wonder if people are interested in Amazon only for its streaming services. Will people choose to stream video from the same site that they impulse order home decor and bulk items?
We asked the following question to 2,169 U.S. adults on April 20, 2016:
13% of respondents replied positively to Amazon’s new offering by saying they were likely to subscribe to the streaming service, while the 66% majority said they weren’t interested in using the service. The bulk of the people who responded positively are over the age of 35 and live primarily in the suburbs.
Here’s the responses broken down further:
The majority who answered that they were not interested in the subscription are more likely to have grandchildren and live in a rural area.
So why the lack of interest in Amazon streaming? According to reports, nearly half of US households, 46%, have access to an Amazon Prime membership. When average users save around $1,100 a year using Amazon, the annual $99 membership fee makes sense. The online store clearly has a dedicated user base of Amazon Prime members, but perhaps they’re primarily using the service for its shipping benefits, not for its online video content.
Over the past two years, we asked over 26,000 adults the following question:
Over this time period, Amazon has grown its content and received recognition for its original programming, but 43% of respondents still perceive Netflix to have the best library. Part of this may be due amount of original content. Netflix still produces more shows on the whole, while Amazon focuses on fewer, more prestige original programming. For the perception of Amazon to change, the online retailer may want to consider producing more shows to saturate the marketplace.
While Amazon’s new pricing model may signal the company’s interest in becoming a major player in the original content space, it looks like most consumers aren’t ready to get on board with Amazon’s streaming library yet. However, based on the results of one of media questions we track,online streaming continues to rise as a primary mode to watch TV.
Consumers may need a little more convincing to sign up for Amazon’s streaming only service, but it looks like the company is planning ahead for a future of more original content and cord cutting.