The time has arrived, Amazon Prime users! Today, Amazon's streaming video service has rolled out their first wave of HBO content. That includes six seasons of The Sopranos, three seasons of Deadwood and five seasons of The Wire, among other beloved HBO series, all available streaming on Amazon Prime for your viewing pleasure. Been meaning to sit down and binge-watch Band of Brothers or revisit the older seasons of True Blood? Now is the time.
And the timing couldn't be more perfect, really, when we consider that we're at that time of the year when the regular programming is wrapping up for the season, but much of the summer programming hasn't rolled out yet. What better time to get your binge-watch on? If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber in the United States you now have access to The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome, Six Feet Under, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened, Flight of the Conchords and more. You'll also find currently airing series like True Blood, however only the first three seasons are available on Prime. That's part of the way this HBO and Amazon Prime deal is set up, as earlier seasons are available for current shows, and in the coming years, more will be added, including series like Girls, The Newsroom and Veep. As True Blood has been around for years, the first few seasons are on Prime, and we'll hopefully see the later seasons roll out on Prime in the years ahead.
While those with access to HBO Go -- HBO's streaming service and app, which includes streaming access to their past and present series -- might not see the benefit of this deal, as it relates to Amazon Prime, it actually is a very big deal, considering HBO's series have not previously been made available on streaming services outside HBO Go. Access to HBO Go, at present, requires a subscription to HBO, which typically requires a full cable plan. The cost of that certainly adds up. For some (if not many), the cost of an annual subscription to Amazon Prime is less than the cost of their monthly cable bill.
Those looking to catch up on HBO's popular series but who don't want to subscribe to HBO have options, but none have been both cheap and convenient. The inexpensive way to watch True Blood without an HBO subscription might be to sign up for Netflix's DVD plan, but that means renting one or two discs at a time, which isn't exactly convenient for today's style of binge-watching. Flexibility and accessibility are key when it comes to vegging out and watching too many episodes of a TV show in one sitting. The alternative to Netflix-discing the series would be to buy seasons, but HBO's DVDs rarely come cheap. The same applies to the digital copies, which can be purchased on Amazon or iTunes for the hefty price of $3-$4 an episode. And who wants to buy a season of a show they may only watch once, anyway? Unlimited access is the way to go, and Amazon Prime is offering that with a pretty great variety of HBO content now streaming.
In addition to making HBO series more accessible to non-HBO subscribers, this deal is also a really big deal for Amazon Prime, as this content is not available on Netflix, and given the mention of exclusivity in Amazon's release, that's probably not going to change anytime soon.
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