HBO Licenses 50 Series to Amazon Prime Video in Japan
Shows including 'Game of Thrones' will be available free to Amazon Prime members, but will still broadcast on a local cable channel first.
HBO is licensing 50 series to Amazon Prime Video in Japan, making shows including Game of Thrones free to members of the shopping and content service. The first six seasons of HBO's flagship fantasy epic have been made available immediately, but the latest season will still be subject to fees for rental or purchase.
Other major HBO titles, including True Detective, The Sopranos and The Wire — all of which have already screened on local cable channels — will be free to Prime members from April 1.
New seasons of the shows will become available on Prime six months after broadcast, most after having been broadcast on cable.
Access to Amazon's video services comes with a Prime subscription costing ￥3,900 ($35.70) a year, compared to Netflix's monthly fees of ￥1,026 ($9.40) for its standard service and ￥1,566 ($14.30) for ultra HD.
Netflix has more than 2 million subscribers in Japan and has been boosting its local content offerings. Amazon doesn't disclose subscriber numbers or how many of its popular Prime shopping members access video.