Amazon’s Prime Time

I wrote earlier this week of Netflix’s realization that it has to be HBO not Blockbuster as I had predicted a couple of years ago.

Amazon, as we know has bundled streaming into its Prime shipping fee.  As I wrote a couple of years ago, when discussing Netflix’s issues with just straight streaming of existing content:

Perhaps most importantly, on the streaming side, Google, Amazon, Apple, Dish/Blockbuster among others, are in the market.  They have other ways to make market from streaming.  For example, Amazon can bundle the price into its Amazon prime delivery fee. Google will find a way to monetize its content through its core business of ads.  Apple obviously makes huge profits by selling high-margin hardware like iPads. These other companies also have other carrots and sticks to play with the studios because of their other businesses than Netflix has.

On its website now, Amazon announces it has signed an exclusive to stream Downton Abbey.

Jeff Bezos writes a note about how streaming plays into the other businesses, including in driving digital sales and making Prime a better value.

Dear Customers,

Good news for Prime members. We’ve just completed a deal with PBS to make Prime Instant Video the exclusive subscription home for streaming Downton Abbey‘s Season 3 starting in June, and all new seasons for years to come. Prior Seasons 1 and 2, already the most popular TV seasons on Prime Instant Video, are available now for catch up viewing—and will also become exclusive to Prime Instant Video later this year.

If you can’t wait until June for Season 3, you can also buy each episode at Amazon Instant Video the day after it airs. And starting now, we’re also making the last three weeks of this season’s episodes available to purchase before they air on TV in the US. When you buy a TV Pass to Downton Abbey‘s Season 3, or if you already have one, you will receive all remaining episodes instantly.

Amazon Prime continues to be an unusual value at just $79/year, and includes unlimited streaming of over 35,000 movies and TV episodes, Free Two-Day Shipping, and a free Kindle book to borrow every month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Learn more about Amazon Prime and get to know the Crawleys of Downton today.

Thanks for being a customer,