Membership in Amazon Prime has always entitled subscribers to free shipping on many products that they buy through Amazon. The service's newest benefit is unlimited music streaming on the model of Spotify. A centerpiece of Amazon Prime's offerings, though, is subscribers' access to instant video streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV shows.
In its quest to establish itself as a major player in the on-demand streaming video marketplace, Amazon Prime has filled its TV catalog. It now includes a combination of classic TV series, episodes of newer series and original programming.
Many of the series available on Amazon Prime are also available on services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. But Amazon has secured a few deals that have delivered some popular shows that can be found only on prime. The most prominent among these deals is one with HBO that gives Prime subscribers exclusive access to episodes of older HBO series. This includes "The Sopranos", "Deadwood" and "The Wire".
Original programming Amazon is limited at the moment. So far only the comedies "Betas" and "Alpha House" have debuted. But four more series are in production and are set to become available later in the year. The new series include "The After", a thriller from "X-Files" creator Chris Carter. Also included is "Transparent", a family drama from writer Jill Soloway ("Six Feet Under").
A one-year subscription to Amazon Prime costs $99 and includes unlimited access to all Amazon Prime Instant Video movies and TV episodes. With a subscription, you can watch Amazon Prime shows whenever you want to.