Amazon announced today that beginning on May 21 they will be making all HBO shows available for streaming via Amazon Prime, and by the end of 2014 HBO GO will also be available on Fire TV (Amazon’s TV component akin to Apple TV).
Anyone who has used HBO GO knows that this is a game-changing move by Amazon; you can watch every episode of almost any show HBO has ever shown, and it also has a substantial catalogue of movies that far surpasses the selection available on Netflix.
One item of note, though, is that the announcement indicates that Amazon Prime members will not have access to episodes of Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep until three years after their original air dates. There also is no mention whatsoever of Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, Oz, and several other classic HBO shows.
Despite some of these drawbacks, this deal is still a home run for Amazon as they battle with Netflix for a bigger piece of the streaming market. With Netflix nearing 50 million subscribers worldwide, Amazon has a tremendously uphill battle to fight against such an established opponent. This is a big win for them from a PR standpoint, but ultimately its success will be judged on the number of users it helps them steal from their rival.
And the online streaming video wars rage on…