BT is the first television service provider in the United Kingdom to offer direct access to Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime members can access the app through the BT TV set-top box. BT already offers access to Netflix and will add the Now TV service from Sky in 2019.
BT says it is part of its ambition to offer customers “unrivalled choice through partnerships with the world’s best content providers”.
Among other things, BT points out that it will enable football fans to watch all the Premier League matches available across BT Sport, Sky Sports and Amazon Prime Video.
Customers will be able to sign up for Amazon Prime, as well as BT Sport and Sky Sports through their set-top box.
Tony Singh, the content and business development director for the BT Consumer division, said: “Our ambition is to offer an unrivalled choice of TV content for our customers by partnering with the very best providers, with Prime Video joining a brilliant line-up including BT Sport, Netflix, NOW TV, BBC iPlayer.”
After a long run of customer additions, BT TV subscribers flattened in 2017 and fell by 22,000 in the first quarter of 2018.
Subscriber number have been around 1.75 million for 18 months, suggesting that there is limited opportunity for further growth from exclusive football coverage.
Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT, will be replaced later this year after five years in charge, having led the charge to take on Sky in the football field.
Aggregating available online services is increasingly part of the strategy of pay-television providers.
Virgin Media started giving its customers access to Netflix in 2013. It is now more watched than any traditional television channel, other than BBC One, ITV or Channel 4. It says that over 100 million hours of Netflix were watched on its platform in the first half of 2018.
From October, new and existing customers who do not yet have Netflix will be able to add and pay for it through their Virgin Media bill.
“Virgin TV has always been about giving our customers the TV they love all in one place,” said Jeff Dodds, the managing director of consumer and mobile at Virgin Media. “We were the first to embrace this open philosophy by embedding Netflix into our platform back in 2013 and it’s clearly something that our customers absolutely love.”
At the beginning of March, Sky announced plans to integrate Netflix with its Sky Q platform “in the coming year” in the United Kingdom and Ireland, followed by Germany, Austria and Italy. It will also offer Netflix as a standalone app on its NOW TV family of streaming devices.