Amazon and HBO have struck a deal to bring a bevy of original series to the Amazon Prime Video subscription service in Japan. According to Deadline, the deal between the two entertainment giants will include 50 shows — including Game of Thrones, Westworld, Big Little Lies, and True Detective, among others — to be available on April 1.
Amazon Video has been available in Japan since late 2016.
Until fairly recently, it was difficult to see Game of Thrones on subscription services other than HBO’s own. There was a time when HBO carved Game of Thrones out of a similar deal with Amazon, even as it licensed some of its other programs. With the series winding down, perhaps HBO figures it can afford to be a little looser. Best rake in fees before interest wanes.
James Farrell, the head of content at Amazon Prime Video (Asia-Pacific) is “thrilled to bring HBO’s comprehensive series catalog to Prime members in Japan,” calling the series in HBO’s library the “most groundbreaking, globally popular, and critically-acclaimed shows in television history.”
Prime members in Japan expect to access quality and breadth of options for unlimited streaming from our Prime Video service, and we’re pleased to offer many of HBO’s great series exclusively to our Japanese customers.
HBO is happy about it, too. Quoth Charles Schreger, the network’s president of programming sales:
We are delighted that audiences in Japan will have a chance to enjoy our programming through Prime Video, giving them access to game-changing shows such as The Wire and Sex and the City, as well as catching up with global hits such as Game of Thrones and Westworld.
Amazon Prime isn’t the only subscription video on demand service to ink a deal with HBO. Hulu added HBO’s library to its optional service in 2017, shortly before the premiere of Game of Thrones season 7. With Amazon and HBO joining forces in Japan, Prime Video subscribers in the area will now be able to peruse HBO’s full catalogue without using a VPN (virtual private network).