To celebrate recent Golden Globe wins, Amazon plans to treat customers to a couple of deals this weekend. First, it plans to allow free streaming of all episodes of Transparent, its award-winning original series. That's ten episodes, available to stream Saturday January 24 from 12:01am eastern to 11:59pm pacific using Amazon's Prime Instant Video service.
Perhaps more exciting, though, is the fact that Amazon will be offering Prime memberships for $72 on the same day (to celebrate the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards of course), a nice discount over the normal $99/year price.
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 22, 2015-- (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced that in celebration of two recent Golden Globe wins, it will make all ten episodes of Amazon Original SeriesTransparent available for free for everyone this Saturday.
If nothing else, Amazon is ambitious. When they launched Prime, which offered free and guaranteed two-day delivery to subscribers, it seemed like Amazon was doomed to regret the project. Just under 10 years later, Amazon has its eyes on making shipping remarkably faster at no added cost. Prime Now, which will be bundled with existing Prime subscriptions, will offer free two-hour delivery in New York City and, soon, a number of additional cities. For an extra $7.99, Prime Now subscribers can reduce that wait time to just one hour. And no, this is not April Fool's Day, this is a real service being offered by Amazon.
If you've taken enough photos to fill up the storage allotment on both Dropbox and Google Drive, and you happen to be an Amazon Prime subscriber, you might want to check out the somewhat nondescript Cloud Drive app. Starting today, Amazon Prime users get unlimited photo storage via the company's branded cloud storage solution. The default free level of generic storage, for Prime members and everyone else, is still the standard 5GB.
The deal applies no matter what device you happen to be using, so automatic photo uploads from Android and iOS via the Cloud Drive app are free, and so are any photos you manually upload to the service's web application via Windows, OS X, ChromeOS, et cetera.
Amazon's Prime Music service, a free add-on for anyone who's already a Prime subscriber, launched to a resounding "meh." The app and service functions well enough, but with plenty of alternatives both free and paid, Amazon's boast of "over one million songs" rang somewhat hollow. As a Prime subscriber myself, I saw it as a nice perk, but it's no reason to stop paying for Google Play Music All Access as well.
Today Amazon is boosting its song library with "hundreds of thousands of new songs," probably by signing a few more music labels. You might recognize some of the more notable artists:
If you've been paying attention to the tech rumor mill as of late, you probably know that Amazon has been planning to buff up its Prime subscription service with a musical component. The web retail giant flipped the switch last night, and now Amazon MP3 is Amazon Music. If you already have a subscription to Amazon Prime (which offers free 2-day shipping and access to Netflix-style streaming TV and movies), then you're now subscribed to Prime Music, the service's premium competitor to Spotify and Google Music All Access.
Along with a rebrand of the Amazon MP3 service (which pre-dates Google Music, by the way) the Amazon MP3/Cloud Player app has been replaced.
HBO shows aren't the easiest ones to get our hands on, but Amazon has snagged a deal that should make doing so easier for Prime subscribers. Starting today, customers in the US will have access to all seasons of several HBO series (such as The Sopranos, The Wire, and Flight of the Conchords) and select seasons of several others (True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, for example). HBO has also aired several mini-series over the years (Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific, etc.), and Prime subscribers will now have access to them as well.
In addition to shows, this arrangement will provide Amazon Prime Instant Video with movies such as Mary and Martha, Temple Grandin, and You Don’t Know Jack.
Guys, the final piece of the puzzle is now in place: Amazon just announced that FireTV will be getting HBO GO. Since it launched without the service, it raised the question of whether it would ever be available to FireTV users; it looks like Amazon was just busy inking the deal with HBO, because there's actually even more to this story than that.
Not only will GO be coming to FireTV, but Amazon now has exclusive multi-year rights to certain HBO shows that will be available on Prime Instant Video. This marks the first time HBO has loosened its deathgrip on its own content, allowing it to be streamed on an outside service.
While we didn't report on the story ourselves, Amazon's decision to raise the price of its Prime membership service by $20 (to $100 a year) has hard corners of the internet up in arms, albeit over something no one really needs in the first place.
If you're not in one of the countries where Prime is available (I was surprised to learn that it is, in fact, available outside the US), you may not be familiar with the service. The gist is free 2-day shipping on a huge number of items (even a $1000+ 3-piece sectional sofa) available on Amazon, reduced pricing on overnight or weekend shipping, Kindle Lending Library access, and Amazon Prime's Instant Video service, which has thousands of free TV episodes and movies.
Here in the US, Amazon offers video streaming bundled up with its annual Prime subscriptions, so anyone who wants discounted shipping gets to watch some videos on the side seemingly for free. Now the company is starting to replicate this setup in the UK and Germany as well. Today Amazon announced that it is merging Amazon Prime and LoveFilm Instant in both of these countries starting on February 26th, combining the speedy delivery and substantial Kindle library of the former with the 15,000-strong collection of TV shows and movies of the latter.
This action comes three years after Amazon bought LoveFilms.