Amazon Prime members can now subscribe to HBO and Cinemax without a cable TV subscription — for an additional fee, Amazon announced today.
Both premium networks are now available through Amazon Channels, the retail giant's program for streaming video subscription packages. An HBO subscription will cost an additional $14.99, while Cinemax will be an extra $9.99.
To put that into perspective, a subscription for HBO Now — the network’s own streaming service that allows people to watch HBO content without having a cable subscription — costs $14.99 by itself. That means there aren’t any real savings Prime subscribers will get from using the service to add HBO onto their monthly plan, which is standard for Channel subscribers. Cinemax doesn't currently have an equivalent to HBO Now; the network's Max Go app requires a pay-TV subscription
Amazon is the latest company to announce an HBO and Cinemax streaming package for subscribers. Recently, AT&T confirmed that those who subscribe to its new over-the-top (OTT) service, DirecTV Now, will able able to get a bundled version of HBO and Cinemax for $5. This is on top of a $35 monthly fee that gives subscribers access to more than 100 channels. AT&T is in the process of acquiring Time Warner — which owns HBO and its subsidiary Cinemax — for $85 billion.
Currently, an Amazon Prime subscription costs users either $10.99 a month or $99 a year. Alternatively, if subscribers are only interested in streaming video, they can choose to sign up for Amazon Video, which runs $8.99 a month. In comparison, the most basic Netflix subscription costs $7.99 a month, but the more common choice, which allows up to two screens to stream at the same time, goes for $9.99.