HBO has completed an exclusive licensing deal that will bring many of the network’s high-profile shows to the Amazon Prime streaming service, Deadline reports. (It’s “exclusive” in the sense that Netflix, etc., will not get the same deal; HBO Go’s offerings are unaffected.) The move marks the first time that HBO has offered its programming to an outside streaming service, and it dramatically enhances the value of an Amazon Prime password in the login barter economy.
Given Prime’s patchy video offerings, a parent’s/sibling’s/friend’s Amazon Prime login has previously been valuable mostly for the shipping discount you might receive when ordering, say, a 32-ounce jug of wolf urine. And nobody needs that much wolf urine, certainly not me. But with the entire run of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwood, and many other HBO shows coming to Prime, an Amazon username and password becomes a coveted borrowing target, and the deal’s lack of Arli$$ enhances its value even further. Now an Amazon login is just one rung below Netflix and HBO Go, which themselves bow only before the grandmaster of the shared-login bartersphere, your neighbor’s wi-fi password.
Newer HBO shows such as Girls and Veep will see their early seasons posted to Prime about three years after airing, and Amazon users will also get original movies like Game Change and a bunch of standup specials. The specific length of the “multi-year” deal wasn’t disclosed, nor was the amount of money that Amazon is paying HBO. But it’s probably a lot. “As owners of our original programming, we have always sought to capitalize on that investment,” HBO executive Glenn Whitehead said in a statement, helpfully explaining to the public that HBO owns the things that belong to HBO, and also HBO likes to make money from those things.
So now it’s time to decide what you might trade your friends for the privilege of piggybacking on their Prime login. A jug of wolf urine makes a good deal sweetener, and also a good coffee sweetener, probably, I’ve heard, from others.