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Amazon Prime Video takes on Netflix

News, 16 December 2016
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SEATTLE: Amazon Prime Video, the streaming service, has now become available in more than 200 countries and territories around the world in what amounts to a significant escalation of its challenge to Netflix.

Amazon announced this week that Prime Video will be offered to consumers at an introductory price of $2.99 a month for the first six months before the monthly fee reverts to its usual $5.99.

Previously, the video streaming service was available only in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan, but now it will be offered at no extra cost to customers in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain.

As well as English, members can watch many titles that are subtitled or dubbed into French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, and Amazon was keen in its statement to promote some of its popular hit shows, such as The Grand Tour auto show and Mozart in the Jungle.

Amazon's announcement confirmed reports last month that Amazon Prime Video was poised to go global, but in an interesting development the company has suggested that its video service could give it a foothold to expand its core retail business into other markets.

"It's easier to put a server in a country than a warehouse, but over time we may follow up with retail around the world," said Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, in comments to the Wall Street Journal.

He added that Amazon, which has been spending heavily on building up a catalogue of local content, is very likely to expand its local video teams in multiple countries over time.

"There's no question you have got to be a global service with local personality," he said. "We are eager to sort of launch and learn now and see what works and double down on that."

Data sourced from Amazon, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff

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