The two companies announced a deal today that would bring many original series from HBO's library to Amazon's streaming service. HBO shows that are no longer on the air such as "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under" and "Deadwood" will be available to stream, as well as early seasons of shows still airing such as "True Blood" and "Boardwalk Empire."
The deal also stipulates that seasons of newer shows such as "The Newsroom," "Girls" and "Veep" won't appear on Amazon until approximately three years after its original air date. Neither company disclosed whether the popular shows "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective" would be included in the deal in the future. Amazon Prime subscribers will also have access to many HBO documentaries, specials, original movies and miniseries.
The deal represents the first time that HBO has made its library available for streaming to non-cable subscribers. HBO has at times sold some of its shows via DVD/Blu-ray or as individual episodes on the iTunes Store or through Amazon. This deal gives the first widespread access to the HBO library to the growing number of individuals giving up cable subscriptions in favor of streaming services. Amazon securing rights to stream part of HBO's library gives the company's streaming service a competitive advantage against rivals Netflix and Hulu.
The announcement comes days after Netflix announced a price increase for new members. Amazon's Prime service, which provides free two-day shipping for items purchased as well as access to its streaming library, recently raised its prices to $99 a year.
The first wave of HBO shows will arrive on Amazon May 21. Customers who already subscribe to HBO can currently access the entire HBO library on demand via HBO Go.