Recently 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.