Recent comments by Amazon Video’s Managing Director, Alex Green, suggest that Amazon is willing to consider expanding its efforts to offer its content through traditional cable companies and boxes. While the comments were picked up during a Cable Congress conference held in Brussels, they did not provide any firm confirmation that this is what it going to happen, but more so, that Amazon is open to the possibility of offering its streaming services on cable boxes, if the right opportunity arises.
Green was noted stating that while Amazon “hasn't done as much there as Netflix have done”, the company is “definitely open to those partnerships” and that Amazon does “talk to all sorts of players in the cable industry.” According to the reports coming through, Liberty Global could be one of the first companies to agree terms with Amazon on such a deal for European customers. Although, comments reportedly made by Liberty’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Balan Nair, stated that while talks are ongoing, nothing will happen until the interests of both companies “are aligned.” Further adding that the lack of Amazon’s services currently on their box options, highlight the lack of an already-existing alignment between the two companies.
Up until now, and in contrast to the other big players in the streaming market, like Netflix and YouTube, Amazon has shied away from offering its services through other hardware channels. Instead, opting to use the pull of Amazon Video, as well as its Prime membership in general, to bolster sales for its own hardware lines, like the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick, which both come running on the company's own Fire OS interface. So changing this approach would be a fairly big move for Amazon and would immediately allow more of the company's customers to engage with its content through existing set-top and cable boxes. Speaking of which, on the wider topic of whether streaming services will bring about the end of traditional TV consumption methods, Green noted that this is “not a zero-sum game” and that services like Amazon Video or Netflix “can easily co-exist with the cable industry” in spite of the obvious overlap between them.