As Netflix was trumpeting its better than expected earnings on Monday afternoon, an analyst chimed into the company’s conference call to ask about the competitive threat posed by Amazon.com. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings brushed the issue aside, declaring that “Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook video” all likely account for more viewing than Amazon.
But quietly Amazon is emerging as a powerhouse in digital video, taking a different approach from Netflix. It offers programs it makes like “Bosch” and “Transparent,” as well as TV reruns like FX’s “The Americans.” And it also offers subscriptions to 75 different video-streaming apps including cable channels through its so-called Amazon Channels program, according to video VP Michael Paull. Amazon is becoming a broad-based video hub. The company has also held talks with TV networks about creating a cable-like bundle of linear channels (similar to Dish’s Sling). It has even contemplated re-selling internet service in Europe.