Amazon targets pay TV with new cord cutting awareness campaign

Coincidentally Amazon’s cord-cutting awareness campaign launched just as Amazon Prime Video suffered widespread service outages. (Amazon/YouTube)

Amazon clearly has vested interest in seeing more people shift away from pay TV toward streaming video but now the company has just come right out and started promoting cord cutting.

The company’s new “Free Your TV” campaign is centered around Fire TV devices and all the live and on-demand video streaming options they present. The new section of Amazon’s website includes sub-sections like “Cord Cutting 101,” which encourages consumers to ditch their “dusty cable box.” It encourages consumers to check their pay TV contracts for fine print, go over the math on how they could save by getting rid of traditional pay TV and it provides tips on what to do before and during a call to cancel TV service.

The campaign appears to primarily be a promotion for Fire TV devices along with Amazon streaming services like Prime Video and Prime Video Channels, but it aggressively targets pay TV service and encourages consumers to cancel cable, satellite or other traditional pay TV options.

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Coincidentally Amazon’s cord-cutting awareness campaign launched just as Amazon Prime Video suffered widespread service outages. Late Wednesday evening Down Detector registered a large spike in issues for the service that primarily impacted video streaming. According to Deadline, the problems lead to at least a partial outage worldwide for the streaming service.

For pay TV providers like AT&T, Charter and Comcast, Amazon’s “Free Your TV” campaign arrives after a particularly bad second quarter for subscriber losses. According to the Leichtman Research Group, major U.S. pay TV providers lost a combined 1.53 million subscribers. The total is up from a pro forma net loss of about 420,000 subscribers during the same quarter one year ago.

“This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of record pay-TV industry net losses,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement. “With an increased focus on acquiring and retaining profitable subscribers, DBS services accounted for more than half of the net pay-TV losses in 2Q 2019, and 63% of the losses over the past year.”

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