Fresh off the heels of its first Golden Globes win, Amazon is taking advantage of the increased exposure its Netflix-like video streaming service, Prime Instant Video, is now receiving in order to onboard new Prime subscribers at a discounted rate. The company said this morning it will make the TV series “Transparent,” which took home two Golden Globes in January, available for free to everyone this Saturday as a part of special marketing promotion.
At this time, Amazon is also offering customers the ability to sign up for Amazon Prime, which includes the video streaming service, at a discounted rate of $72.
That’s a 25 percent-plus savings over the usual $99 price of an Amazon Prime membership, the company notes in its announcement. It’s also “72” dollars in reference to the 72nd Annual Golden Globes, which saw Amazon Studios taking home two awards this year, alongside competitor Netflix’s one win (Kevin Spacey for “House of Cards”) out of its seven nominations.
“Transparent,” an Amazon Original TV series starring Jeffrey Tambor as a father who comes out to his adult children as transgender, won both the Golden Globe for Best TV series, musical or comedy. And Tambor won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series. In his acceptance speech, he called Amazon “my new best friend.”
For a number of mainstream consumers, the Golden Globes televised event may have been the first time they realized Amazon offered a video streaming service that produced its own content, even if they were vaguely aware of its video offerings before.
And now Amazon wants to capitalize on that newfound attention.
Beginning on Saturday, anyone can watch “Transparent” for free on Amazon.com/transparent or via the Amazon Instant Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile. That same day, Amazon will also offer Prime for the discounted price – a handy deal in case you can’t binge-watch your way through the series in one go.
In addition, those signing up for the discount will receive Amazon Prime’s other benefits, including free, two-day shipping on over 20 million items, access to a million songs via Prime Music, early access to Lightning Deals, over 800,000 books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and unlimited photo backup in Amazon Cloud Drive.
Prime Instant Video, meanwhile, is currently offering tens of thousands of shows and movies on demand for free streaming.
Amazon Studios, which produced “Transparent,” launched in 2010 with a different, data-driven way to develop movies and series. Amazon puts its pilots online for viewers to access, then green lights those that receive the most attention. The studio now backs a number of dramatic, comedic and kids’ series, and recently announced it has signed Woody Allen to develop his first TV series exclusively for its service. Earlier this month, it debuted its 2015 pilot season which includes 13 new shows available for potential pick-up.
And just a few days ago, Amazon said it would also begin producing original films for theatrical release via its Studios arm, as well. The company said it wants to finance 12 films per year through this model.
What’s most notable about that latter move is how Amazon will be reducing the traditional window between the theatrical premiere and the streaming release from 39-52 weeks down to 4-8 weeks, giving Amazon the potential to benefit big from its hits.
That news, of course, would be less interesting if Amazon weren’t yet capable of producing high-quality content, but the Golden Globes win indicates that’s not necessarily the case.
Correction: Accidentally referred to the show a couple of times as “Transgender.” It’s “Transparent.” This has been updated.