Amazon Prime Instant Video Coming to Japan27 Aug, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Netflix’s biggest rival follows subscription streaming pioneer’s September launch in the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market
Amazon has announced it will launch the Prime Instant Video streaming service this year in Japan — the world’s second largest home entertainment retail market. The move follows Netflix’s slated Sept. 2 bow in the country.
The world’s largest e-commerce platform didn’t disclose content options for Japan’s Prime membership, which costs $32.50 a year — about a third of the cost in the United States — and has been in operation (without video streaming) for about 10 years. Media reports suggest Amazon would offer regional programming, including original content.
Indeed, Amazon spent $1.3 billion on original content in the U.S. in 2014, including Golden Globe-winning “Transparent,” starring Jeffrey Tambor.
“As we’ve shown with the launch of Prime Video in the U.S. and around the world, we are investing significantly to bring high-quality, local and popular programming to Prime members, and our customers in Japan should expect the same investment. We’ve been offering videos and DVDs in Japan for 15 years — we know the entertainment customers want — and we plan to deliver it with Prime Video, all at no additional cost,” Jasper Cheung, president of Amazon Japan, said in a statement.
Prime Instant Video is no sure thing in Japan, which saw Hulu sell its Japanese unit after it failed to register with consumers.