Amazon’s video streaming service, and competitor to Netflix, saw strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2015. Outside of the US it nearly doubled its subscriber base. Amazon also claims that the Fire TV media player continues to be the “best-selling media player”.
Amazon challenges Netflix
Per tradition, Amazon refuses to give out hard numbers but it says that its Netflix-competitor Amazon Video continues to see strong growth in the US and internationally.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Amazon Video continued “to grow internationally with nearly double the streaming customers compared with fourth quarter 2014”. Amazon Video is part of Amazon’s Prime membership that provides access to several benefits, including free shipping as well as video and music streaming.
By some estimates, Amazon Prime has 54 million Prime subscribers in the US alone. The same group would have access to Amazon Video but not everyone necessarily uses it. Amazon only confirms that it has “tens of millions” of Prime subscribers.
Amazon also highlighted some of its recent TV series, saying that The Man in The High Castle is now the most watched show on Amazon Video by 4.5 times.
Fire TV remains popular
The Fire TV media player was recently updated to support 4K resolution and it continues to be one of Amazon’s most popular devices.
The company says that Fire TV “remains the #1 best-selling streaming media player in the U.S”. During the last few months of 2015, Apple launched a new Apple TV box, Roku launched the Roku 4 with 4K support, and Google launched the second generation of Chromecast. Apple had a strong start with the new Apple TV in the fourth quarter of 2015 but if we are to believe Amazon, they still have the edge. Until we have firm numbers, we should of course stay skeptical of such claims.
Amazon says that over 1000 new apps were added to Fire TV and Fire TV stick since September.
Amazon has highlighted some of its achievements in Q4 2015.
In Amazon’s own words
Fire TV remains the #1 best-selling streaming media player in the U.S., having added over 1,000 new apps, channels, and games since September, including NBC, NBC Sports, Watch HGTV, Watch Food Network, and Watch Travel Channel.
In 2015, worldwide paid Prime memberships increased 51% — 47% in the U.S. and even faster outside the U.S.
Prime Video continues to grow internationally with nearly double the streaming customers compared with fourth quarter 2014.
The Prime-exclusive Original Series Mozart in the Jungle received two Golden Globes for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (Gael García Bernal).
Over the holidays Prime members made The Man in The High Castle the most watched series on Prime Video by 4.5x. The Amazon Original Series received outstanding critical acclaim, including USA Today calling it the "best new drama of the season."
The second season of hit show Transparent was named as one of the top television series of 2015 by The New York Times, Variety, IndieWire, and The New Yorker.
Amazon Studios released its first Original Movie Chi-Raq, directed by Spike Lee, to rave reviews. The film has been included in 2015 "Best Films" lists from LA Weekly, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Slant,and Vulture.
Amazon launched the Streaming Partners Program, an over-the-top streaming subscription program that gives Prime members the option to add SHOWTIME, STARZ, and dozens more video subscriptions to their Prime membership.