Amazon launches Prime Video globally, leaves out China

Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:26am EST
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By Aishwarya Venugopal and Sankalp Phartiyal

(Reuters) - Inc (AMZN.O: Quote) launched its video-streaming service, Prime Video, in nearly every country except China on Wednesday, in its biggest challenge yet to Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: Quote).

Prime Video, home to popular shows such as Jeremy Clarkson's "The Grand Tour" and transgender comedy "Transparent", will now be bundled with Prime subscriptions in 19 countries including India, Canada and France.

In other regions, those who want the service will have to pay $2.99 or 2.99 euros per month for the first six months, after which the price will be doubled to $5.99 or 5.99 euros.

Subscriptions for Netflix, whose current hits include original shows "Stranger Things", "Daredevil" and "Narcos", start at $8.99.

Amazon has been spending heavily, sometimes at the cost of profits, on the creation and marketing of movies and TV shows.

The company hopes that people will sign up for its Prime service to watch these shows - and in turn buy more from its online store to make the annual subscription worth it.

Amazon will continue to focus on producing original content, said Tim Leslie, vice president of Amazon Instant Video, International.

Most of the original shows, including local content, will be made available everywhere, Leslie told Reuters.   Continued...'s logo is seen at Amazon Japan's office building in Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon