TV networks are considering pulling their apps such 9Now, 7plus and 10 Play from Amazon Fire TV’s platform, after the media giant issued broadcasters three weeks’ notice that it would require 30% of revenue “for any advertising in the Fire TV Ad-Enabled App”.
Free TV described that as a “cash grab”, a sentiment shared by SBS.
SBS managing director James Taylor has told the Financial Review that Amazon’s change was “outrageous” and amounted to tech giants “rent-seeking revenue that would otherwise go to more content for our audiences”.
An Amazon spokeswoman said, “Our commercial terms allow us to invest in the Fire TV experience, which helps our streaming partners reach millions of customers and helps our customers enjoy a great streaming experience. Our commercial terms were updated in June, and we work closely with our partners on the timeline for their implementation.”
Similar terms had been in place in the United States since 2018, and “was updated to ensure our business practices are consistent worldwide”, she added.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said, “The government is concerned about reports that Amazon has, at short notice, decided to increase the amount it charges app providers for making their services available on Fire TV devices, particularly if this applies to Australian media entities.”
She added, “Free-to-air broadcasting services play a crucial role in supporting our sense of cultural identity and informing and entertaining all Australians, from news services, to sport, to entertainment and more.
“The issues associated with the development of a prominence framework are complex, and we need to make sure we get this right.”
Fire TV is estimated to represent between 3 and 4% of the Australian streaming audience.