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Amazon Prime Video Teases Global Access

17 Nov, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Amazon Prime Video, the subscription streaming video rival to Netflix and Hulu, is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Japan, with pending service in India.

That could all change very soon.

Speculation of a standalone Prime Video service turned the page towards reality following a just-released YouTube promo video for “The Grand Tour,” Amazon’s new car-themed streaming series Nov. 18 and starring the original cast — Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May — from the BBC global hit “Top Gear.”

In the promo, Clarkson reads a letter from a disgruntled blogger who complains (“Screw you, Grand Tour, screw you”) the show won’t be available where he lives.

“Not so fast,” interjects May, reading another specially delivered letter pulled from — what else — an Amazon package.

“In December, we will be launching globally, which means you will be able to watch ‘The Grand Tour’ in over 200 countries around the world.”

Indeed, worldwide availability of Prime Video would mark 12 months since Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced global access to the SVOD pioneer at CES in Las Vegas.

In October, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky was asked if Amazon would consider operating Prime Video as a standalone service outside of aforementioned countries offering Prime membership service.

Without answering directly, Olsavsky said content being created through Amazon Studios included worldwide rights that could be used in non-Prime countries. Amazon in April announced it was making Prime Video available domestically as a standalone option for $8.99 — the same price as Netflix’s entry-level plan.

“Yes, we consider [global rights] to be very valuable versus licensing, many times by country,” Olsavsky said.

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