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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chances are, most of you only ever hear about Epix in an article discussing streaming rights (like this one). Epix is an online streaming video service a la Netflix that you can only get access to if you have a cable bundle that includes the site. Or, you know, if you have Netflix. For now anyway. The real value of Epix is the stable of movie rights it brings to the table, and now the joint venture is sharing its media library with Amazon Instant Video for all of the online retail giant's Prime customers.