If you asked that question a week ago, when Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) raised its annual fee for Amazon Prime to $99 from $79, you might have heard a far different answer. But those upset by the company’s March announcement that the popular streaming movie and T.V. service (that also offers free two-day shipping) would see a price hike April 17 had to wait less than a week for that extra $20 seem like money well spent.

Amazon’s Prime Instant Video will now offer select HBO original programming to non-HBO subscribers for the first time – all for just $8.25 a month. That means exclusive access to older show like The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and more. There will also be access to select seasons of Treme, Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. And there will be more to come, as well, as part of the multiyear deal between Amazon and New York-based Time Warner Inc.’s (NYSE:TWX) HBO (fans of Game of Thrones and True Detective will have to wait, though). Amazon also has exclusive rights to Downton Abbey, Justified, and Orphan Black, not to mention special access to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Compared to the $15.95 you’d have to shell out every month in addition to your monthly Time Warner Cable bill for 20 HBO channels, on HBO On Demand and HBO GO, or the $19.99 for a similar package via New York-based Verizon Communications Inc.’s (NYSE:VZ) FiOS (but for 14 channels), that sounds like a pretty good deal.

Netflix Misses Out

Even compared to Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix, Inc.’s (Nasdaq:NFLX) $7.99 streaming service, which now boasts popular shows like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Amazon Prime’s HBO catalog stands up very well. It should be note that with this deal Netflix has missed out on offering HBO content, which would have made its coming price hike easier to swallow.

One more player in the space, Hulu, a joint venture of NBC Universal Television, Fox Broadcasting Co. and Disney-ABC Television Group., charges $7.99 for streaming its movies and T.V. shows, but is a relative lightweight with 3.3 million subscribers compared to Netflix’s 33.1 million U.S. subscribers.

The Bottom Line

Amazon Prime may cost 25% more, but for the price of a glass of wine you can binge on much of HBOs back catalog, have your Amazon purchases delivered fast and occasionally read a free book.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Netflix: Should You Buy Or Hold Or Sell?

    Ultimately, an investor has to trust the decisions and strategies of the company’s management. History is on the side of CEO Hastings, who seems to have a knack for both surprising and pleasing ...
  2. Investing Basics

    3 Business Tips from Restaurant Reality Shows

    The reality TV shows "Restaurant Impossible" and "Kitchen Disasters" offer lessons not just for restaurateurs, but for all business owners.
  3. Retirement

    Is Netflix Stock Suitable for Your IRA or Roth IRA?

    Learn about the risks of Netflix's business plan and long-term corporate strategy, and see if the stock's risk/reward profile warrants inclusion in an IRA.
  4. Investing

    The Hunger Games Economy: 5 Unanswered Questions About Panem

    The Hunger Games's fictitious nation of Panem has technology, black markets, and government. But, we know precious little about Panem's economy and the reasons for its rampant inequality.
  5. Investing

    Playing The Decline of Traditional Broadcast Media

    Broadcast media is losing viewership as cord cutting by the younger generation triggers subscription losses at cable and satellite companies.
  6. Wealth Management

    The Net Worth of the Shark Tank Cast

    Discover how the richest "Sharks" on the hit TV show amassed their vast fortunes, and learn how much they have to offer eager entrepreneurs.
  7. Investing News

    Apple and the Battle for Streaming Music

    Spotify, Apple, Youtube and Tidal are facing off for control of a vast market. What factors will determine who emerges as the leader in streaming music?
  8. Markets

    Are Foreigners as Interested in WWE Wrestling As Americans?

    Learn about the popularity of WWE wrestling all over the world, including the company's move from a pay per view model to a monthly subscription.
  9. Stock Analysis

    How Vimeo Makes Money

    Discover how video sharing service Vimeo makes money without advertising. Revenue comes from upload and storage fees plus 10% of Vimeo on Demand sales and rental.
  10. Investing

    Kim Kardashian Biography

    The multi-millionaire became famous at 26 when a sex tape featuring her and her former boyfriend found its way to the Internet.
  1. How are HBO, Amazon and Google working to overtake Netflix?

    Netflix (NFLX) is one of the largest distributors of "on demand" movies, TV shows and media, as well as DVD rentals. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Who are Disney's (DIS) main competitors?

    The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has built a diverse empire since its beginning in the 1920s, creating a huge range of lucrative ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How did Rupert Murdoch make his fortune?

    Rupert Murdoch made his fortune in the media business, initially in newspaper acquisition and turnaround and later in broadcast ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is expected to happen to Rupert Murdoch's empire after his death?

    Multibillionaire Australian-American business magnate and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, founder, chairman and CEO of News Corp ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Which industries can benefit the most from venture capital?

    In terms of attracting venture capital, a 2013 report from advisory firm PwC indicated that companies involved in technology ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a power ratio?

    A power ratio is a method used by media companies to measure revenue performance compared to the audience share it controls. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center