Huge Instant Video Sales: Amazon’s Price Experiments Continue

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If you’ve been waiting for this series to go on sale, now’s the time to jump on it: $12.99 currently gets you all 13 episodes in this season of the series, and the other two seasons are deeply discounted right now, too.

Amazon’s Crunching Some Numbers, And We Can Influence Those Numbers

As I recently wrote in a piece for Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily, which was entitled Tell Amazon How Much You Want To Pay By Buying Discounted Instant Videos:

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Amazon is unbelievably good at knowing what consumers are willing to pay for things, and that’s because Amazon has amassed a HUGE database of information about its customers’ purchases. Amazon analysts can run reports that will show them at a glance which price points resulted in sales spikes, and which price points caused sales to slump…

Recently, Amazon has been conducting…pricing experiments…in its Instant Video Store. $14.99 seems to have become pretty well cemented as the standard price for purchasing new release, Standard Definition (SD) Instant Videos, as well as all-time classic Instant Videos of movies that will be selling well for generations to come (e.g., Disney movies). As for those that are past the ‘new release’ period and don’t merit any special categorization, a number of recent sales seem to indicate Amazon is zeroing in on the $6.99 – $8.99 price point for various groups of videos.

Truffaut’s masterwork, a must-have for any film buff, and as of this writing it’s on sale for just $6.99.

A couple months back, for the first time ever, a large collection of Pixar film Instant Videos were put on sale for $8.99 each. Those Instant Videos had never been discounted before, when the sale ended their prices shot right back up to $14.99 each. Right now, all of the Harry Potter movies have been discounted to $7.99 each and again, this is the first time any of those films have been offered at a discount. Two big, recent summer sale events featured a lot of past blockbusters and indie film hits priced at $6.99 each…

So vote with your wallet by buying Instant Videos when they go on sale at a discount: Amazon is definitely paying attention.

Note: all prices quoted in this post are for Standard Definition (SD) versions. I don’t personally think it’s worth investing the extra money to buy HD Instant Videos, because I’m not generally watching or listening to them on such high-end equipment or such a huge screen that the difference in quality is noticeable to me, and HD is definitely wasted on small, portable device screens. To be perfectly frank, as a 48-year-old woman who must wear glasses at all times, I haven’t even been seeing the REAL world in high definition for quite some time.

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The Hits Keep Comin’

As of today, there are two more unbelievably big/unprecedented sales going on in Amazon’s Instant Video Store, with a LOT of great movies going for between $5.99 – $7.99 and entire seasons of Starz! Originals TV shows going for $5.99 – $13.99. If ever there was a time to ‘vote with your wallet’ on Amazon Instant Videos, this is it. There are plenty of films in this sale that were or still are on my ‘buy when they go on sale’ list, the list I’m slowly working my way through as I replace the discs of movies I already own with digital copies when I can get a good price.

The Back To School Instant Video Sale features MANY past blockbusters, award winners and must-have classics in movies and TV, and their Starz! Originals Instant Video Sale puts entire seasons of Starz! original series on sale at rock-bottom prices.

Highlights from these sales include:

The Talented Mr. Ripley (R, 3.5/5 stars, currently priced at $5.99)

The 400 Blows (Not Rated, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $6.99)

Amazing cast, amazing script, and as of this writing it’s on sale for $7.99.

The Social Network (PG-13, 4/5 stars, currently on sale for $7.99)

Election (R, 4/5 stars, currently priced at $6.99)

Stand By Me (PG-13, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $7.99)

Coach Carter (PG-13, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $5.99)

Risky Business (R, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $7.99)

Across the Universe (PG-13, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $4.99) – and I thought I was getting a deal when I paid $6.99 for it!


Click here to browse the full Back To School Instant Video Sale listings, which also include MANY family and animated films.


Spartacus: Blood and Sand (4.5/5 stars, mature audiences only, currently priced at $12.99 for the entire season of 13 episodes)

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (4.5/5 stars, mature audiences only, currently priced at $5.99 for the entire season of 6 episodes)

Spartacus: Vengeance (4.5/5 stars, mature audiences only, currently priced at $13.99 for the entire season of ten episodes)

Just about a week ago I saw DVD box sets for ‘Vengeance’ and ‘Blood and Sand’ in a store priced at $25 per set. With this sale, I can get both of those seasons plus the Gods of the Arena mini-season for $33 total.


Click here to view the full Starz! Originals Instant Video Sale listings, which also include a season of Magic City and Camelot.


Too soon to tell where prices for entire seasons of TV series will end up, but as of this writing seasons of The Walking Dead are priced at $10.99 – $26.99.

Where Will Prices Finally Settle?

It’s impossible to predict—at least, not without Amazon’s actual sales data. But given the patterns I’ve seen in these recent sales over the past several months, I’m guessing (and hoping!) $7.99 will become the standard price point for Instant Videos past the new release window and not considered all-time classics (like Disney movies), $9.99 will become the standard for all-time classics past the new release window, and $4.99 – $6.99 is what those movies will be discounted to when Amazon decides to have a sale.

I don’t watch Instant Video prices for TV series as closely, because I don’t tend to buy a lot of series, but Amazon’s recent prices on such popular series as HBO’s Rome and Deadwood, and Showtime’s The Borgias, have me thinking $19.99 may become the standard price for an entire season (10-13 episodes) of a premium cable series that’s past the new release window, while new release premium cable series like Boardwalk Empire are still all over the map, price-wise.

Network and cable TV shows are still pretty hard to predict too, with seasons of the very popular FX series Breaking Bad ranging from $11.99 – $21.99 as of this writing, and AMC’s The Walking Dead seasons ranging from $10.99 – $26.99. This may be mostly a function of the network, since entire seasons of the hit FX series Archer are currently priced at $15.99 – $21.99 while AMC’s Mad Men seasons run from $19.99 – $22.99.

I don’t think Amazon’s yet begun to focus its full attention on Instant Video series prices. We’ll all know when they do, because suddenly there will be frequent sales on Instant Video series, with at least a few unbelievably low bargain prices. To that I say, “Bring it on!”



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