Amazon has (at least) three different categories of streaming movie availability:

free for Prime members

Movies can move between these categories (e.g., Serpico was free on Jun 29th, 2013, but was unavailable as of Jun 30th, 2013, while Best in Show was free on Jun 29th, 2013, but costs as of Jun 30th, 2013, costs $2.99).

Amazon does a pretty good job of letting you know what movies have recently moved into the free category via their Recently Added category.

What I haven't found, that would be really useful, is information on upcoming category changes (e.g., it would have been really useful -- to know before Jun 29th, 2013 -- that Serpico wasn't just going from the free-to-cost category, but was outright becoming unavailable).

Is there an availability schedule for Amazon Prime Instant Video that shows upcoming category (i.e. free, cost, unavailable) changes?

[Originally asked Jun 30 - https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/12287/is-there-an-availability-schedule-for-amazon-prime-instant-video. Deleted July 26th by TylerShads with no explanation why it was deleted.

Asked again July 30 - https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/12859/is-there-an-availability-schedule-for-amazon-prime-instant-video. Deleted same day, again by TylerShads with the explanation, "And I'm deleting this again because this type of question has to do with distribution, which is off-topic for this site, and this question is better suited for Amazon. – TylerShads". This despite another "distribution" question being asked less than 24 hours prior to my original question, a question that hasn't been deleted - Why can't movies be released in homes? (edited to add link). And despite the fact that non-providers have been known to provide the service I'm an inquiring about - http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/14/netflix-watch-instantly-expiring-dates-api-removed-streampocalypse/ . In the cited case, there was a provider API, that has subsequently been removed, but the fact remains that non-providers were precisely the organizations to provide the service which I'm inquiring about.]


1 Answer 1


This is a question of scope. Scope of a stack-exchange site is pretty much set by its community - otherwise a small minority of powerful people (e.g. the mods) could just define the scope and if that did not align well with the needs of the community the site would suffer as people would be frustrated.

In the early days of the site, the community decided what was on/off-topic. The list of off-topic has not changed a great deal since them:

  • Distribution
  • Movie/TV purchasing/viewing locations
  • The operation of playing a movie whether it be digital or physical format.
  • Unimportant trivia that does not add to the understanding or appreciation of the title.
  • TV news and current affairs
  • A title's release date or rumors about a specific title or series.
  • Opinions about or recommendations for a movie or TV show

Your question (whilst personally of interest to me as an Amazon Prime subscriber) is less about movies and close to the "Movie/TV purchasing/viewing locations" and "A title's release date or rumors about a specific title or series".

Its not exactly in these categories, but it relates to "how do I, and when will this be available" questions rather than questions about movies themselves - and I can see that point of view.

In addition - there used to be grounds for closing on SE called "too localized" - it was dropped as it was fairly badly understood. But the underlying reasoning was that the question would only be applicable in a small geographic area or not stand the test of time - it would go out of date. I would argue that answers to your question would go out of date as things change on the internet constantly.

If you want to change the scope - feel free to open a question on Meta about this - but I kind of agree with the reasons why this has been closed based on the current definition of scope.

I would finally say - this kind of enquiry would be very welcome on chat.

  • .... and if you can't join chat yet, just make a post that attracts one or two up-votes and you will be there. Unfortunately I don't set those rules either.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Jul 31, 2013 at 14:37

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