Amazon makes a stronger (but kind of weak) push as a television content hub

Online retailer Amazon has been making a hard push to cement itself in the digital-content-over-the-Internet market recently. It launched its Amazon Video On Demand service (an update of its Unbox service) a few weeks ago, and earlier this week made its Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website more video-centric. Today, it has launched a new section of the main Amazon site dedicated to fans of select television shows.

The area, known as “The [Your Favorite Show] Store” features individual pages for many popular TV shows both old and new. These pages not only contain links to buy DVDs of the shows from the Amazon store, but also showcase episodes currently showing on Amazon Video On Demand.

Having pages for individual shows is nice because the Amazon Video On Demand store itself is still a pretty cluttered place when it comes to finding what you’re looking for. While the content may be on par with Apple’s iTunes store, the browsing experience is nowhere close. Individual pages solves this problem somewhat, and it’s also good for those who don’t like opening another piece of software (iTunes) and instead prefer finding shows within their web browser.

There are 500 of these show stores including shows like 24, Battlestar Galactica, Entourage, Family Guy and older shows like I Love Lucy, M*A*S*H and The Sopranos. Unfortunately, not all shows are available via the Video On Demand service yet. The Seinfeld page, for example, only lets you buy DVDs. I suppose the page is still helpful for a basic overview of the site and some bonus clips, but without the option to watch the show right there, it’s a lot less sexy.

Most newer shows allow you to watch episodes online, but only certain ones are free. For the rest you’ll have to pay the $1.99 an episode. Amazon is promising that some shows will be available via On Demand before their television air date.


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