A good read from Digiday this week on Amazon Prime Video Channels, the third (but perhaps the strongest) leg in the behemoth that also comprises Amazon Video (the purchases and rentals) and Amazon Prime Video (the free stuff you get with a Prime membership).

The crux? Amazon Prime Video Channels — upwards of 160 channels in the U.S. that use individual monthly subscriptions of varying amounts, all paid for through your Amazon account — accounts for up to half of all video subscriptions.

From Digiday:

Amazon has not broken out how many Prime members use Prime Video Channels. But for networks, the program has been a boon for subscriptions. According to a recent study from The Diffusion Group, Prime Video Channels accounts for 55 percent of all direct-to-consumer video subscriptions. Sources at two major U.S. TV networks that distribute on Channels disputed TDG's findings, saying the numbers weren't that high, but conceded that Amazon was a top subscription driver. (Other TV network sources have told Digiday that Amazon can account for anywhere from 25 to 45 percent of total subscribers.)

One key factor is the ease of use for customers. Having to install multiple applications — and then manage multiple logins — for individual channels adds multiple barriers to entry. But subscribing to channels within the Amazon ecosystem — which itself is a marvel of one-click convenience — just makes sense for a lot of folks.

More: 10 Amazon Prime Video Channels you need to know

And one key pain point, at least as far as the content providers are concerned, is that Amazon doesn't readily share data about those of us doing the watching. That's probably OK with most of us, and it's even OK with Amazon partners, to a point.

Amazon also does not share details about who subscribes to and watches programming on the channels. Media partners said they would like to see information like emails, demographic breakdowns by age and geography, and even more detail on what viewers did on Amazon before and after watching something on their channels.

Others argued that it's unfair to expect this, partially because these subscribers are Prime members first, and it's not like existing traditional TV distributors offer detailed information on who subscribes to their TV channels.

"Comcast does not want you to know the full details of the buy flow of somebody — that's their secret sauce," said the U.S. TV network executive. "It's the reason that all of these services fight hard to keep their data and control of the audience — that's everything to them."

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