Amazon Prime members are going to get something sweet in the form of some old HBO shows and by old, I mean older than when Game of Thrones started. So is it really the big win that some say it is for Amazon or is it just HBO beginning to expand their digital footprint and monetize some old content they have had laying around for years?
The deal is that HBO will make available to Amazon, a slice of its library of old shows, it is a deal that marks the first time HBO has licensed its shows for subscription streaming to a third-party. That means shows that first aired more than three years ago will begin to show up in the Amazon Prime Instant Video library on or around May 21st. That is because no season will be made available for streaming on Amazon less than three years from its first air date. Game of Thrones will not be one of them, obviously, it makes way too much money for them in things like DVD sales. Set to arrive include full seasons of 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 miniseries like Band of Brothers and John Adams, according to reports.
So is this a coup for Amazon? It's not like they got the keys to the vault to just take it all and run. It is certainly a value add for Prime members as they will have access to HBO shows that cannot be found, well, just about anywhere.
It could be a sign of things to come and they may now have the inside track on getting more out of the HBO library in the future, especially if they generate more revenue for HBO by increasing sales of merchandise for these old shows through their ads, etc.
I guess we will not know the full impact of this until next year when Game of Thrones turns 4. That is really the show that is probably being fought over in back alley brawls between all the major players in subscription VOD. They should all be stockpiling cash so when HBO starts to hint that it is ready to be courted in terms of GoT rights, they can just drive a truck full of cash up to the HBO HQ and say "here is the money for the GoT rights, we can have it now yes?"
Oh, on a related note, there will be an HBO Go app for Fire TV "near the end of the year." OK, but so what? And why so long? Fire TV runs Android apps, so why the long delay in getting the app out? Because it needs voice control for the Fire TV? That simple thing is going to take half a year? I think most would rather have the app now and get the voice search on it later as an update.