Amazon Prime members will have access to a slate of iconic HBO shows — including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, True Blood and others — under an exclusive deal announced by the Seattle company this morning.
It’s the first time that HBO has licensed content to an online-only subscription streaming service, according to the company.
Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, so it’s not clear what price Amazon is paying for the privilege. But this is a key move in Amazon’s attempt to differentiate its streaming video service from Netflix and other competitors. It’s also an extra incentive for Amazon Prime members to stick with the subscription service despite a recent price hike from $79/year to $99/year.
The agreement focuses on older HBO series and seasons. Amazon says there will be a three-year delay for current and recent seasons and shows.
HBO shows could previously be purchased individually for streaming on Amazon Instant Video, but weren’t available as part of an Amazon Prime subscription. Prime subscribers won’t need to be HBO subscribers to watch the shows.
“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, HBO Executive VP of Business and Legal Affairs, in a news release announcing the deal.
In addition to the Amazon Prime deal, the HBO Go app will be available on Amazon’s Fire TV box by the end of the year, the companies said. That app can be used by HBO subscribers to access the premium cable channel’s library of content.
HBO’s shows will start appearing on Amazon Prime on May 21, including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. Amazon says previous seasons of recent and current shows, including Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available three years after running on HBO.