Amazon and CBS today announced that the online retailer's Instant Video service will be the exclusive subscription home to Under the Dome, an upcoming series based on Stephen King's 2009 novel. More interestingly, Amazon's Prime customers will gain access to episodes during the course of a season; new shows will be available just four days after they air on television. This "in-season" approach brings Amazon closer to a model that until now has belonged to Hulu. Typically, like Netflix, Amazon has acquired streaming rights for TV seasons only after they've reached network viewers. There won't be quite so long of a wait when Under the Dome debuts in June, however.

Amazon has become increasingly aggressive when it comes to content licensing; last week, the company announced it will soon be the exclusive streaming destination for popular PBS series Downton Abbey. Unfortunately it's hard to come up with any benefits consumers will see as more and more programming is split among streaming services.