Netflix has had the global streaming-video market more or less to itself for some time now, apart from a few tentative steps made by smaller players such as HBO. But now it is getting a major competitor, and one with even deeper pockets. Amazon is said to be close to rolling out its Prime Video service worldwide.
The Wall Street Journal said that the e-commerce giant is expected to expand its video offering into about 200 countries. It is currently only available in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria, and Japan.
The impending roll-out was also leaked on Twitter by Jeremy Clarkson, star of Amazon’s new show The Grand Tour and former host of the popular Top Gear car series on BBC. Clarkson and his co-hosts left the British network last year after Clarkson’s contract was not renewed, following a physical altercation with a BBC producer.
Clarkson said in a series of tweets that fans would be able to see his new show in 200 countries starting in December.
So. People of Ireland, Canada, Australia and pretty well everywhere else. You WILL be able to watch the Grand Tour. Amazon has gone global.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) November 16, 2016
Netflix expanded its global reach in January, launching simultaneously in 130 countries for a total of more than 190 nations and territories. China is one of the only major markets where the service is unavailable. The online rental giant recently announced that it would license its content to Chinese services because the regulatory environment in that country is too hostile to outsiders.
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SOURCE: Fortune, Mathew Ingram