Amazon Intensifies Cord-Cutting Push With New Consumer Campaign

As one key component of marketing its Fire TV devices and Prime Video and Prime Video Channels streaming services, Amazon has long been a cheerleader for cord-cutting.

Now, the tech titan is ratcheting up the strategy, with a new “Free Your TV” campaign.

The campaign includes a video of case studies of consumers who have dropped cable or satellite for Fire TV, and a dedicated area on with specific instructions on making the switch for even the least tech-informed consumers.

The nearly three-minute video (below) shows members of “real families” talking about the various reasons they were reluctant to drop their traditional TV suppliers — such as fear of losing local programming access or the ability to record favorite shows or sports, or of simply moving from the familiar to the untried — and how those fears were blown away once they began using Fire TV.

The site area features detailed, how-to articles bylined by Kathie Holsenbeck, described as a “freelance copywriter and lifelong TV junkie who kind of can’t believe Fire TV is real (it’s that awesome).”

“Cord Cutting 101” lays out six steps to take before making the move (including how to handle the cancellation call to the cable provider), and “Get Started With Streaming” lays out all of the basics on streaming, streaming media players, smart TVs, various types of apps, and free trials.

The campaign messaging stresses five key benefits of replacing a traditional provider with Amazon devices and services: flexibility, access to premium content, ability to keep local and live programming; value (access Alexa/smart home capabilities, music apps, games, etc. from a single device); and simplicity (easy setup, universal search and more).

Is Amazon smelling blood in the water? The “Free Your TV” campaign launch followed a particularly disheartening second quarter for MVPDs.

Earlier this week, Leichtman Research Group reported that major U.S. pay-TV providers (representing about 93% of the market) lost a combined 1.53 million subscribers in the period, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 420,000 subscribers in 2Q 2018.

Further, over the past year, top pay-TV providers showed a net loss of about 5,015,000 subscribers, compared to a loss of about 1,060,000 during the prior year.

Unfortunately for Amazon, it experienced major Prime Video service outages just two days after it posted its “real families” video on August 12.

On Wednesday, tracking service Down Detector reported spikes in outages that pointed to at least a partial outage worldwide, according to Deadline.

The Amazon glitch, on top of other recent high-profile outages —including Hulu’s live crash during the first Democratic presidential debate and a Netflix outage in June, and an Xbox outage earlier this month — could take a bit of the punch out of the campaign.

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