Amazon’s annual “Prime Day” shopping event has long been a critical part of its online retail strategy. This year, for the first time, it is also leaning into its Prime Video division to help push new Prime subscriptions, and sell even more goods.
For starters, Amazon will give Prime members an exclusive first look at its upcoming series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The sneak preview is available as of July 6, and will only be viewable for 48 hours. In addition, the company says that 20 Prime members who added the LOTR series to their watchlist are receiving invitations to the show’s world premiere in London.
In September, Amazon will become the first tech company to have exclusive rights to an NFL package when it becomes the home of Thursday Night Football. Led by Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit, TNF marks arguably the biggest bet on streaming sports yet.
And Amazon is using TNF to help sell more products. Beginning Wednesday, Amazon will sell a number of big-screen TV sets at up to 45% off so that “fans can upgrade their living rooms for an optimized Thursday Night Football watching experience.” Amazon will also offer discounts in the NFL fan shop on its site, and give substantial discounts on its Fire TV streaming products.
And then there’s Ultimate Crown, which will stream on both Prime Video and Amazon-owned Twitch. Crown, which pits MrBeast vs Ninja (and their respective teams) in League of Legends from Las Vegas beginning July 9. Prime members will be able to attend in-person, or participate in exclusive chats, with the opportunity to win prizes tied to the show.
It’s all part of a strategy to tie Amazon’s fast-growing video offerings to its core retail business, selling more goods, and also driving more subscriptions. The Prime Video offers weren’t the only deal unveiled Wednesday (arguably the biggest was a free one-year subscription to GrubHub+), but it demonstrates that Amazon is willing to leverage its entertainment assets to promote its other lines of business.
While Amazon has offered some Prime Day deals in the past tied to entertainment (think discounted streaming subscriptions), this is the first real effort to use its owned Prime Video programming as part of a promotional push.
“Being the first to watch a sneak peek of one of the most highly anticipated shows of 2022 or ordering your favorite takeout while watching a football game on a TV you snagged for a great price—that’s the promise of Prime, and there’s never been a better time to take advantage of all the membership has to offer,” said Jamil Ghani, vp of Amazon Prime, in a statement. “Prime already delivers great value for members. These new exclusive offers and experiences show how a single Prime membership unlocks a whole world of potential.”
In other words, next time there’s a James Bond movie, Prime members may just get the first look.