As a newly-minted subscriber to Amazon Prime (yes, it did take me this long), I must admit, the biggest use I’ve found for it thus far has been for entertainment. While I’m not sold on the purchase of Amazon Fire TV just yet, I can see that happening as well in the near-term, especially as the company continues to secure additional partnerships for its streaming box.
One major agreement was just reached. Amazon Prime will begin streaming HBO programming; in exchange, the service will provide HBO Go on Amazon Fire TV. Why both? Well, unfortunately for those of you that are not HBO subscribers, not all HBO shows will be streamed through Amazon Prime.
Game of Thrones being the big one. HBO reportedly deemed the franchise “too valuable to include” in the deal– though, following the conclusion of season 4 this year, there is some possibility that we will see GoT streaming on Amazon Prime soon.
The deal itself allows for certain shows to begin streaming on Prime three years after their premiere date– which means that the half-hour dramadey Girls will be available for streaming next year. Older shows, such as critical darling The Wire, and HBO staples Eastbound & Down, Treme, True Blood, and Big Love will be streaming on Prime from the start.
There are a handful of shows- Entourage being one -that are still currently wrapped up in legacy syndication deals, and aren’t likely to be on Amazon Prime in the near term. However, this move by HBO, which will make Amazon the exclusive online distributor outside of itself, shows how much stock the company is putting in streaming services– and, more importantly, how little they value syndication in the future.
It makes good sense for the network– one that competitors like Showtime & AMC have already done with their own popular series. Many of these shows have seen a resurgence in popularity due to streaming services, as “binge watching” continues to become the new norm for digesting television. I have personally enjoyed watching classic and newer series in this manner over the past few years– everything from Oz to Justified and even Breaking Bad were binged upon in my household at various times, and, truth be told, I almost prefer it that way.
There was no data given in the release to specify when Amazon Prime will begin streaming HBO, but expect to see it on their roster soon.