Amazon Instant Video is no longer just the place you go to stream favorite movies and television shows. With a series of exclusive new pilots, Amazon Instant is now going the route of Netflix and Hulu and incorporating new, original content into its basic format.
Amazon originally aired several pilots in April, five of which have been confirmed as upcoming series. The most anticipated includes John Goodman in “Alpha House,” about four senators who become roommates, “Betas” a comedy about four nerdy friends hoping to create a successful app, and sciencey kids’ show “Annebots.” Several up-and-coming entertainers are also included in the mix, thus adding to the fresh feel of these pilots. LA Times reports these series should air later this year or early 2014.
The Birth of Streamed Television Series
Amazon is by no means the first web-based company to try its hand at television production. Netflix made the trend mainstream with the release of hit show “House of Cards.” This political drama is offered exclusively through Netflix, yet has managed to capture impressive audience numbers each week. It is currently slated for a second season, the first having far exceeded expectations. It recently picked up nine Emmy nominations.
Netflix vs Amazon
There is some difference between Netflix’s “House of Cards” series and those about to be released on Amazon Instant Video. “House of Cards” was modeled after an already existing and popular BBC show. While Amazon’s shows are a completely new premise. This could be risky, as the company will not have the notoriety of an already popular series available to launch its new pilots into success. But it certainly plays in their favor to land a well-known actor such as John Goodman.
Streaming vs Cable
The recent availability of highly rated shows on streaming networks poses a problem for viewers hoping to access the full range of today’s best television. It used to be enough to simply invest in a cable package, but now the dedicated viewer cannot enjoy the complete array of top-rated shows without investing in streaming services.
Both approaches to television have their advantages. Those with streaming service accounts have the ability to access their favorite shows from remote locations. However, the number of programs available may be limited with this setup unless viewers are willing to pay extra fees. Cable, on the other hand, provides more of an all-inclusive approach to watching television, which is great for those who enjoy a wide variety of programs. But it leaves out streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, while also forcing users to pay for shows that they may never end up watching.
Viewers are beginning to ditch traditional cable and are combining satellite with a preferred streaming service like Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video. According towww.direct.tv, satellite packages usually begin around $30 per month. Prices for programming on streaming services vary, with Hulu Plus and Netflix offering unlimited streaming for $8 per month. Those who shop frequently on Amazon may benefit from Amazon Prime, which runs $79 per year or $39 per year for students. Some viewers may be able to have their television needs satisfied by exclusively purchasing a streaming plan, but as streaming services are rather limited compared to satellite, they will find their viewing options greatly reduced.
Choosing the appropriate television plan can be difficult given all the options available at this time. As you make your selection, keep in mind the shows you actually watch and whether you expect to continue viewing them in the future.