Amazon’s desire to stream more live sports has the company looking at launching a stand-alone app for such content, according to a report Wednesday in The Information.
The website cited a source with direct knowledge of the plan and said such a move would “declutter Amazon’s main Prime Video app” and better highlight the tech giant’s sports offerings. Right now, content within Prime includes exclusive streaming rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” some Premier League soccer matches, and New York Yankees baseball.
The company uses sports in a bid to grow its content library, bolster its advertising arm, and add more Prime subscribers who buy products on its marketplace.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has previously expressed a desire to spend more on sports.
“Sports is such a unique asset. If you look every year at the most watched programs, sports often occupies 75% of those spots,” Jassy said at a DealBook conference in November. “And you know, they drive live engagement and they drive Prime subscriptions.”
Amazon increased the annual price of a prime membership — which includes Prime Video — to $139 earlier this year as it sought to offset shipping and labor costs, among other things. The Information did not report on whether Amazon would charge Prime members for sports content in a new app.
Amazon competes against other tech giants for streaming rights for a variety of sports content. The company just lost out to Google in the bidding for “NFL Sunday Ticket.”
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter called live sports a “differentiator from on-demand,” and said each company brings their own model for streaming. He noted at the time that if Amazon won the “Sunday Ticket” rights, it would need to figure out whether to offer NFL games for free, as it does for “Thursday Night Football,” or change the Prime membership model with new tiers, such as is being suggested by The Information report.