Amazon Executive: Coronavirus Will Likely Accelerate Cord-Cutting

June 18, 2020 Topic: Technology Blog Brand: Techland Tags: AmazonAmazon PrimeNetflixTechnologyCord-CuttingTV

Amazon Executive: Coronavirus Will Likely Accelerate Cord-Cutting

"I feel like we've probably accelerated cord-cutting by, I don't know, a year?


The coronavirus epidemic has led to major changes in the way that Americans engage with entertainment. Nearly all of it has moved to the home, and with that has come increased subscriptions to streaming services and more video on demand, but much fewer pay-TV subscriptions-with pay-TV subscribers losing nearly 2 million subscribers in the first quarter of this year alone, and more such losses expected in the second quarter.

Amazon, while it isn’t directly in the pay-TV business, is very much part of that new entertainment equation. And one of its executives, in a new interview, looked at these new trends.


In an interview published this week with the newsletter Protocol,  Marc Whitten, Amazon's VP of Entertainment Devices and Services, talked about the cultural changes he's noticed as a result of the pandemic.

"I do think that we're witnessing a variety of perhaps more-durable changes as customers experience some new things," Whitten said in the interview. "I'll start with Fire TV: I feel like we've probably accelerated cord-cutting by, I don't know, a year? I'm making that particular number up, but I think there are a lot of people that have suddenly tried this, and they will perhaps stick with it where maybe they weren't in the audience before."

Whitten also said in the interview that he's seen increased usage of such Amazon products as Alexa, Echo and tablets, and that his team has cut down the lengths of video meetings, after realizing that "being on meetings all day on video was incredibly tiring."

Amazon, during the pandemic, unveiled a new line of Fire HD tablets, in mid-May.

The e-commerce giant, like Roku, has not yet reached a deal to carry HBO Max on the Fire TV platform, although reports earlier this month said that apps will be ready to go once any such deal is reached.

Whitten added in the interview that Amazon is "testing a tab in the UI of Fire TV for free that helps people find just the free content that they may be looking for."

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.