Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
Earlier this week, Amazon officially became a major player in the online streaming game, when it announced that it was moving forward with four original series. Pilots for the supernatural thriller The After, the cop saga Bosch, Jason Schwartzman's quirky laugher Mozart in The Jungle, and Jill Soloway's family dramedy Transparent all got the green light, with the hopes of generating the same buzz for Amazon, as House of Cards and Orange is The New Black did for its rival Netflix.
So, it's of no surprise that Amazon has announced its first-ever price increase for Prime subscribers, going from $79 to $99 per year. Up to now, subscribers received free two-day shipping on millions of products, as well as access to the site's vast streaming database. But, that only included the two original series Betas and Alpha House, neither of which managed to capture the zeitgeist (or viewers) in the same way that Netflix's two breakout hits did.
With this new slate of original programming — especially Transparent, about a dysfunctional Los Angeles family coming to terms with a new reality — Amazon seems poised to give Netflix a run for its money. While the Internet giant failed to give a specific reason for the price hike, it's hard not to find a correlation between its production boom and the $30 increase. But, three Hamiltons seems a small price to pay, in the grand scheme of things. In fact, we'd pay triple that to keep avoiding the harsh realities of the real world in the form of endless binge-watching, and never shopping in stores. Bring it on, Amazon. (Variety)