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

    Why Disrupting Television Will Take Time 

    The growing popularity of YouTube and Netflix has given rise to dire predictions about television's death. But here's why the medium may prove to be resilient.
  3. Investing

    How Exactly Do Movies Make Money?

    As the saying goes, "nobody knows anything" in Hollywood. But the film industry knows it can't rely on ticket sales alone to drive revenue.
  4. Investing

    Jay Z Biography

    Jay Z, born Shawn Corey Carter in late 1969, is an American entrepreneur, investor, music producer and rapper with a net worth of roughly $550 million as of 2015.
  5. Investing

    Dr Dre Biography

    Andre Romelle Young, more popularly known as Dr. Dre, is an entrepreneur, music producer and rapper from California.
  6. Investing

    Movie Vs. TV Industry: Which Is Most Profitable?

    Which entertainment sector is more profitable: movies or TV? Let’s take a look. You might be surprised by the results.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Mutual Funds That Hold Netflix Stock

    Discover three mutual funds that allocate the largest percentage of their assets to Netflix, and learn these funds' investment goals and strategies.
  8. Investing Basics

    How The TV Industry Struggles To Stay Alive

    Thanks to Netflix and Hulu, modes of distribution are in flux. What does that mean for the TV industry as we know it?
  9. Investing News

    Netflix Stock Tumbling

    Shares of Netflix, the popular video streaming service provider, plunged by roughly 13% in the week starting August 31, 2015 amid rising competition in the video streaming industry.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    How Original Series Shake up the TV Business Model

    Two decades ago, a network could make a decent profit airing "Full House" reruns. Now viewers expect CGI dragons, A-list film stars, and complex character development. Have mercy!
  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
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!