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As Amazon Steps up Challenge to Netflix, its Prime Video Expands to 200 Countries

As Amazon Steps up Challenge to Netflix, its Prime Video Expands to 200 Countries
As it steps up its challenge to Netflix, announced on Wednesday that its Amazon Prime Video, the e-commerce giant's streaming service, has expanded to 200 countries.
In territories where it is available such as France and Italy, current customers of Prime are given the service for free and its services allows users pay a yearly fee for quick delivery and other perks. However an introductory price of $2.99 a month for the first six months just for Prime Video is charged by the company in other countries form the users. But after the first six months the fees are raised to $5.99.
Based on both the parameters of price and availability, Amazon has increased its push against Netflix. Compared to the fees and availability of Amazon Prime, Netflix is available in more than 190 countries globally at present and the company’s services cost a minimum of $7.99 a month. Amazon Prime is ahead at the moment in both the parameters.
However, in one of the largest internet markets, China, users are unable to access both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. For the purpose of offline viewing, Prime Video users can download movies and TV shows.
On the other hand, India, which is becoming an increasingly important region for the technology giant is also on the radar of Amazon as it also put out a separate announcement about its Prime Video expansion in the country. Amazon it would invest an additional $3 billion in India, bringing its total commitment to the country to$5 billion, the company CEO Jeff Bezos said earlier this year.
Amazon said it will release and Bollywood and regional Indian blockbusters on Prime Video and hence this appears to be part of the push that Bezos had talked about. And  "top Indian talent and filmmakers" would also be featured in a new original series, production for which has already begun, Amazon also said.
By fiercely investing in content to get ahead, both Amazon and Netflix have been going head-to-head in the streaming video space. While Amazon said it would double its current spending, Netflix pledged to spend $6 billion on content in 2017. Shows such as "The Grand Tour" featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, as well as many of its other originals will be available, the U.S. e-commerce firm said.
Amazon's offering could gain popularity as the offer is "priced extremely competitively", analysts said.
"They are pricing it extremely competitively with Netflix and the low pricing is something which we observe with Amazon's retail offering. They are definitely looking at a market share grab early on," Richard Cooper, director of research for home entertainment at IHS Markit, said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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