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Amazon’s Season Pass Now Charges Full Price For Seasons Even If You Already Own Some Of The Shows

amazon-instant-video-logoRecently we reported that Amazon changed how their Season Pass works. For most shows no longer do you buy each episode as they come out at a reduced rate. You now have to pay upfront for all the shows. We found out that with the new policy even if you already have purchased some of the shows you still have to pay full price for the season.

Notice the SD price of $12.99.


Now I went and purchased the first episodes in SD for a $1.99. Take a look at the season price for the SD version.


It is still cheaper to buy a season pass upfront as this season has 9 episodes at $1.99 each would be $17.91. The season pass is just $12.99 for all 9 episodes. For a season that is already out you can easily do the math to figure out of the season pass is a good deal. For seasons with an unknown number of episodes like Sister Wives it could be harder at the start of a season. Take for example TLC 19 Kids and Counting that just started a new season. Is $22.99 a good deal? Without knowing how many shows will be in the season it is impossible to tell.

Amazon has a long history of being fair and honest with its customers. This change dose remove a lot of the transparency from the old system and raises questions about the benefits of season pass.  In the past you could buy a season pass for $1.89 a episode and know you would save $0.10 for each episode no matter how many how many they release. Now you are left guessing over what is your best option.

The new system also discourages buying a few episodes to try out the show. I purchased 3 episodes of 19 kids and counting before I purchased the full season for $22.99. Even after paying $5.97 I still had to pay $22.99 for the season pass. Now I wonder if I just double paid for the show a feeling that may make many second guess buying a season pass after they already bought a episode or two.


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6 Responses to Amazon’s Season Pass Now Charges Full Price For Seasons Even If You Already Own Some Of The Shows

  1. Avatar
    Kazola September 22, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    So what happens if a network decides to cancel a show after only a few episodes due to poor ratings? Will Amazon offer a partial refund? If I pay $40 for a season and it ends up being cancelled after 5 episodes, that results in $8 per episode! That’s ridiculous considering that with this method, you could potentially end up paying much more for bad shows as opposed to highly successful ones that run a full season.

    • Avatar
      Luke September 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

      That is a very real risk that Amazon has not addressed.

  2. Avatar
    Jimi September 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I just emailed Amazon with negative feedback on this change. I tend to have around 6 season passes at a given time. Charged up front that would be cost prohibitive. For example, a season of Big Bang Theory plus a season of Person of Interest means I have already spent close to $100 on content that I can’t even access yet! I also hate that you no longer get a discount when you buy a couple of episodes first to try out the show. The points about cancellation (either by you or the network) are also valid and concerning. I suggest we all email them to let them know we are not happy with the change. They do listen to customer feedback.

  3. Avatar
    Chris September 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    I hate this change. I will have to stagger the buying of TV passes to one or two a month. I can’t afford to buy 6 or 7 whole seasons at once. Definitely not taking a chance on new shows anymore. I’ll wait ’til they’ve been on the air a while. I didn’t even notice I’d been charged for a full season when I bought a season pass recently until I read this article and went to check my order details. I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about this, but maybe like me they didn’t even notice they were being charged differently.

  4. Avatar
    Kylie October 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Yes, I’m also VERY pizzed off. Just ordered the season pass for TWD Season 5 and was expecting to be charged as each episode became available for streaming.

    If I’d known I would have preferred to ‘pay as I go’ at a higher per episode per week

  5. Avatar
    Rachael October 14, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I HATE this change. This will definitely impact the number of season passes I purchase. To bad for Amazon I guess. Oh well.