While, “Can I get that on Netflix?” still remains the primary question people have when it comes to streaming a title, Amazon Prime refuses to play runner-up. Today, the company announced they had struck an exclusive deal with HBO to stream some of the network’s biggest series including The Wire, The Sopranos, Eastbound & Down, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, and eventually seasons of Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep. It’s a savvy move by both companies. When an increasing number of consumers are ditching their cable subscriptions, HBO can’t rest its streaming business entirely on HBO GO. However, they can’t undermine the service entirely, so they’re carefully selecting what can be shared with another company.
Meanwhile, Amazon may not get the crème-de-la-crème of HBO’s current programming (the press release makes no mention of Game of Thrones or True Detective, the two shows that were so popular they crashed HBO GO), but it gets more than enough to woo more subscribers. The only big loser here is Netflix, who recently announced they’ll probably increase prices for new subscribers. When it comes to streaming, we may now start asking, “Can I get that on Prime?” Hit the jump for the press release. The first wave of content will arrive on Amazon Prime on May 21st.
SEATTLE—April 23, 2014—(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with HBO, making Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming. The collection includes award-winning shows such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as mini-series like Band of Brothers, John Adams and more. Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO. The first wave of content will arrive on Prime Instant Video May 21. This is the first time that HBO programming has been licensed to an online-only subscription streaming service. This programming will remain on all HBO platforms.
In addition, HBO GO will become available on Fire TV, targeting a launch by year-end. HBO GO is HBO’s authenticated streaming service offering subscribers instant access to over 1,700 titles online including every episode of new and classic HBO series, as well as HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, specials and a wide selection of blockbuster movies.
“HBO has produced some of the most groundbreaking, beloved and award-winning shows in television history, with more than 115 Emmys amongst the assortment of shows coming to Prime members next month,” said Brad Beale, Director of Content Acquisition for Amazon. “HBO original content is some of the most-popular across Amazon Instant Video—our customers love watching these shows. Now Prime members can enjoy a collection of great HBO shows on an unlimited basis, at no additional cost to their Prime membership.”
“Amazon has built a wonderful service—we are excited to have our programming made available to their vast customer base and believe the exposure will create new HBO subscribers,” said Charles Schreger, President of Programming Sales for HBO.
“As owners of our original programming, we have always sought to capitalize on that investment. Given our longstanding relationship with Amazon, we couldn’t think of a better partner to entrust with this valuable collection,” said Glenn Whitehead, Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, who along with Schreger headed up HBO’s negotiating team. “We’re also excited to bring HBO GO to Amazon’s Fire TV. The features like unified voice search will provide a compelling experience for HBO customers.”
Beginning May 21, Amazon Prime members will have unlimited streaming access to:
- All seasons of revered classics such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under, and of recent favorites such as Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords
- Epic miniseries, including Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End
- Select seasons of current series such as Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood
- Hit original movies like Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don’t Know Jack
- Pedigreed documentaries including the Autopsy and Iceman series, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and When the Levees Broke
- Hilarious original comedy specials from Lewis Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis CK and Bill Maher
The multi-year deal will bring additional seasons of the current series named above, along with early seasons of other series like Girls, The Newsroom and Veep to Prime members over the life of the deal.