Amazon’s latest update to its Amazon Instant Video app for iOS now includes free, ad-supported first episodes of select TV shows that non-Prime members usually wouldn’t get to watch.
Users will be able to stream the first episodes of shows like “Orphan Black” and “True Blood,” as well as a selection from Amazon’s recently acquired catalogue of HBO shows, including “The Wire” and “The Sopranos,” as long as they’re willing to sit through a few commercial breaks. The update also brings the rest of Amazon’s HBO content to iOS, as TechCrunch points out.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has experimented with free, advertising-supported TV outside of what it offers to Prime Instant Video customers: The “first episode free” option is also available on Kindle Fire devices and Roku.
Amazon has denied plans to launch a fully ad-supported free media service to further monetise its digital content beyond Prime Membership or direct sales. However, this new option for iOS users still serves as a way to try to get consumers hooked by the first episode of a show that Amazon sells, so that they will be more tempted to either sign up for Prime or buy the full series.
This update comes less than a week after Amazon launched its Fire phone, a new smartphone that
features “dynamic perspective” effects, which make images feel 3-D, motion-sensing capabilities, and Firefly, Amazon’s new visual search engine.
Here’s what the “first episode free” option looks like in Amazon’s Instant Video app:
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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