Big news from the Land of Bezos this morning: Amazon has reached a deal with HBO that will bring some of the premium channel’s older programming to Amazon Prime.
Those who pay the yearly subscription fee for Amazon Prime will be able to watch shows like The Sopranos, The Wire and more using Amazon’s website, or any device with an Amazon Prime Video app. Current shows like Girls and The Newsroom will, according to a press release, show up on Amazon Prime three years (!) after they air on HBO. Prime will also get access to HBO miniseries like Band of Brothers.
Curiously, there’s no mention of Game of Thrones. Could HBO have held this extremely popular show out of the deal to discourage cord cutting? This is definitely something we’ll have to dive into a bit more.
As part of the deal, Amazon’s Fire TV streaming box will also get an HBO Go app that supports unified voice search. The app is expected to arrive on the Fire TV by the end of the year. The omission of the HBO Go app was a big deal for some who reviewed Amazon’s box, so its addition later this year (as well as its support for the Fire TV’s nifty voice search feature) could cause some to give the box a second look.
Even without the newer shows, this HBO programming deal is still a pretty big get for Amazon Prime. The service has been working to differentiate itself from competitor Netflix by both developing its own content and signing exclusives for shows like 24 and The Americans. As far as movies go, Amazon’s library isn’t quite at Netflix’s level in terms of depth and variety, but the service is definitely making a case for itself on the television side of things.
The “first wave” of HBO content will hit the Amazon Prime service on May 21. Will you be tuning in?