Amazon has just launched Prime Video, its Video On Demand (VOD) pay TV service in over 200 countries around the world (Zimbabwe included) effectively becoming the biggest competitor to VOD giant Netflix in providing internet TV to a global audience.
You can access it on www.primevideo.com
Netflix opened up its service to over 130 new countries in January this year so Amazon’s play is clearly aimed at having a larger presence globally.
It’s not just competing just on presence either. It’s also got features like Offline Viewing (Netflix took a while to include this) which will be appreciated in internet expensive territories like Zimbabwe.
More importantly, as a way of attracting a horde of new users, Amazon Prime Video comes with a free 7-day trial plus a special offer of US$2.99 per month for the first 6 months.
With its standard subscription after this set at US$5.99 it is still going to be cheaper than Netflix’s $7.99 which also the subscription set for another VOD heavyweight in Sub-Saharan Africa – Showmax.
Amazon is, however, a bit thin on content compared to the guys it’s going up against. It’s biggest draw right now is The Grand Tour – the Top Gear
spinoff knock off that roped in car show superstars Jeremy Clarkson and Co.
It does, however, have pockets deep enough to create/buy more shows and the fact that it’s washed up on our doorsteps/phones/devices means that other VOD services (Econet Media just got served) and pay TV in general (here’s looking at you DStv) have another serious player in the area who can add heat and make issues like content acquisition – at least for headline-grabbing/globally recognised TV – a lot more trickier.