UPDATE: We were off by two weeks.
Amazon has launched it Prime Video content streaming service today, at a low price of US$5.99 (S$8.53) a month.
It’s available from www.primevideo.com and new users get 7 days to trial the service, and sign up for the first six months at US$2.99 a month.
Prime Video is normally bundled free with Amazon Prime (US$99), but since there’s no word on when Amazon Prime Singapore will make its debut, the monthly sign up fee seems reasonable. Time will tell if the Singapore content library on Prime Video Singapore matches that of the US, or if it is following in NEtflix’s footstep, and providing local users with a smaller library of titles.
Netflix, it’s time to sit back and chill.
The American streaming content service’s largest video streaming competitor, Amazon Video, looks set to launch its streaming services globally next year, into 200 countries.
This is more than the 130 countries that Netflix itself rolled out into in January, as it primed itself to be the dominant video-on-demand streaming service. The January roll out of Netlfix saw the service launch across Asia, in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is now available in over 170 countries.
Currently, Amazon Video, or Amazon Prime Video, as it is sometimes called, is only available in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan. There is also a planned launch in India.
Unlike Netflix, which charges a flat monthly subscription fee, Amazon Video is part of Amazon’s Prime service, which offers exclusive deals and free shipping to members, for a low US$99 annual fee.
With news that Amazon will be entering the Southeast Asia market via Singapore as a gateway in early 2017, the addition of a free video streaming service bundled with an Amazon Prime membership could give the online retailer the edge it needs to charge ahead in the overcrowded online marketplace in Asia.
If Amazon sticks to its US pricing, the S$140 annual fee, which includes free shipping from Amazon’s online store when it launches its online store locally, makes it on par with the S$10.98 monthly fee that Netflix charges here, but with more incentives.
News of Amazon’s global rollout of its video streaming service came from Jeremy Clarkson, the new co-host of the upcoming Amazon Video exclusive motoring show, The Grand Tour, on Twitter. Along with Richard Hammond and James May, the hosts announced that the series will be available in more than 200 countries from December.
A message from the guys. pic.twitter.com/p1IJNRjAnS
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) November 16, 2016
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also confirmed the news of the service’s global rollout on Twitter, though he did not list the countries included.
Like Netflix, Amazon Video is home to TV shows and movies, including in-house productions exclusive to the platform. These include the award-winning series Transparent, Man in the High Castle and Mozart in the Jungle.
It has also wrestled several movies and TV shows away from Netflix’s library of shows. For example, US legal drama Suits, currently in its sixth season, is available on Netflix, but that library only has it up to Season 4. Suits is exclusive to Amazon Video from Season 5 onwards. Amazon Video is also home to Grimm, Hannibal, Covert Affairs and Defiance.
Despite all of this, Amazon Video is recognised to have a smaller library of shows compared to Netflix. However, non-US subscribers to Netflix have reported that the number of shows available to its international users is only a fraction of the ones available in the US.
While Netflix announced that a deal to stream Disney’s massive library of movies and TV shows on its service kicked off in September, the deal is understood to only include the US and select markets. Disney movies such as those from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its animated films are currently not available for streaming in Netflix’s Asia markets.