By now you've likely heard that starting in May older HBO content will stream to Amazon Prime subscribers. What they'll be getting is access to: "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 mini-series like Band of Brothers, John Adams and more."
Basically, old shows that have had their run and/or saturated the outlet markets for more than a while. Hell, I've had HBO for more than a year and I've still never heard of some of these titles. I did notice, however, that during the six weeks or so I had cable shut off for a move to a new apartment, the very same shows from the list above became available via Comcast On Demand.
Reports that HBO "is cutting the cord and heading to streaming" are nonsense. HBO's relevant content—Game of Thrones (which is, oddly and tellingly, not even mentioned anywhere in the Amazon/HBO press release), Girls, the Newsroom, etc. won't be available to Amazon's user base until "approximately three years after airing on HBO."
HBO Go, which you can only access if you're a cable subscriber, and Comcast are still the only major mediums carrying that content, which indicates that HBO is still beholden to our
analog digital Comcast/NBCUniversal/soon-to-be Time Warner Cable Overlords. And oh yeah, the impending merger is just another reason this move is no surprise—HBO is an operating subsidiary of Time Warner, and Netfilx has been the most outspoken opponent of the merger to date.
Lastly, with House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, etc., Netflix has already shown itself to be adept at producing compelling and successful original content, while Amazon is still struggling to create shows that audiences latch onto, much less remember. (Sometimes crowdsourcing just ain't all it's cracked up to be either.) Wake me up when HBO Go no longer requires a cable subscription and we'll talk.
Full disclosure: I have done some contract work for Amazon, none of which had anything to do with Amazon Prime original content. Don't tell Paul Constant.