The expansion will enable Amazon Prime members in Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and India to tap into its streaming service at no extra cost to their existing subscriptions. Customers in new territories can sign up for an introductory price of $2.99 (€2.99) per month for the first six months, beginning with a free seven-day trial at PrimeVideo.com. Service will be available on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Fire Tablets and select LG and Samsung smart TVs. Like rival Netflix, it won’t be available in China, North Korea or Syria.
Earlier this month, Amazon rolled out its new motoring show The Grand Tour, hosted by former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, internationally following its initial launch to subscribers at the end of November. Now, additional programs such as The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle and Tumble Leaf will be available to subscribers as well as Amazon Original Series content such as Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, David E. Kelley’s Goliath, documentary series American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story and Bryan Cranston and Graham Yost produced Sneaky Pete, starring Giovanni Ribisi.
“We are excited to announce that starting today, fans around the world have access to Prime Video,” said Tim Leslie, VP, International, Prime Video. “’The Grand Tour’ and other critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series like ‘Transparent,’ ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ and ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ along with hundreds of popular Hollywood movies and TV shows are now available at the introductory price of only $2.99 a month. And what’s really exciting is that we are just getting started.”
It’s a huge step for Amazon, which has been quietly calculating its global outreach. In October, the company announced a staff reshuffle, which saw Amazon Studios promote Head of Drama Development Morgan Wandell to a new post of Head of International Productions while Brad Beale, VP TV Content Acquisition for Prime Video, saw his role expand to include overseeing global selection of series for individual countries and licensing television content on a local and worldwide basis. The moves were a clear indication that the company was setting itself up for international expansion.
During that announcement, the company renamed its movie division to Prime Movies, which includes all aspects of the business including production, distribution and licensing of original films. That unit is headed up by Worldwide Head of Motion Pictures Jason Ropell. The company’s Oscar hopeful Manchester By The Sea, directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck, has grossed an estimated $8.6M at the specialty box office in the U.S.
Last week, Deadline revealed Amazon Studios had acquired hot international package The Aeronauts, directed by Brit helmer Tom Harper and written by Brit screenwriter Jack Thorne.