|Worldwide (excluding Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea)|
|September 7, 2006; 10 years ago (2006-09-07)|
Amazon Video is an Internet video on demand service that is developed, owned and operated by Amazon.com. It offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and as part of Amazon's Prime subscription, selected titles can be viewed exclusively to full Prime or Prime Video members, in which video membership allows viewing without full Prime. Like competitors, Amazon has pursued a number of exclusive content deals to differentiate its service, including a multi-year licensing deal with HBO in the United States.
Launched on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States, the service grew with its expanding library, and added the Prime Video membership with the development of Prime. It was then renamed as Amazon Instant Video on Demand. After acquiring the local streaming and DVD-by-mail service LoveFilm in 2011, Prime Video was added to Prime in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria in 2014, a move that angered some Prime UK members as the bundling was nonnegotiable with a 61% increase in subscription fee.
In the UK, Germany and Austria, Prime Video has been available on a monthly subscription of £5.99 or €7.99 per month, continuing the plan of LoveFilm Instant. The service was previously available in Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 2012, but was discontinued in 2013. On April 18, 2016, Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime in the US for $8.99 per month. The service also hosts Amazon Original content alongside titles on Video as well.
On December 14, 2016, Amazon Video launched worldwide (except for Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea) expanding its reach beyond US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. Among the new territories, the service was included with Prime in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain while for all other countries it was made available for a monthly promotional price of $/€2.99 per month for the first six months and $/€5.99 per month thereafter.
The service debuted on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States. On September 4, 2008, the service was renamed Amazon Video on Demand. As of August 2014 the service is no longer available for downloading purchased instant videos. On February 22, 2011, the service rebranded as Amazon Instant Video and added access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members. On September 4, 2012, Amazon signed a deal with pay-TV channel Epix to feature movies on their streaming service, in a move to rival their competitor Netflix. Additionally, in November 2013, Amazon premiered the comedies Alpha House and Betas, which are original series available exclusively online via the Prime Instant Video service. Amazon offered the first three episodes of both series at once for free, with each subsequent episode released weekly thereafter for Prime members.
In February 2014, Amazon announced that the streaming service of its UK subsidiary LoveFilm would be folded into the Instant Video service on February 26, 2014. In January 2015, Transparent became the first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first series from a streaming video service to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
In 2015, Amazon launched the Streaming Partners Program (now known as Amazon Channels), a platform allowing subscription-based third-party channels and streaming services to be offered to Amazon Prime subscribers through the Amazon Video platform. These services are separate from the Amazon Video offering, and must be purchased separately. The original launch in the U.S. included services such as Curiosity Stream, Lifetime Movie Club, AMC's Shudder, Showtime, Starz, and others. The service subsequently added other partners, such as HBO and Cinemax, Fandor, PBS Kids, and Seeso.
On July 30, 2015, Amazon announced that they had hired Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May to produce an untitled motoring show for Amazon Prime Video that would later be named The Grand Tour. Neither Jeff Bezos nor Amazon.com had stated how much Clarkson, Hammond, or May are being paid to produce the programme via their production company W. Chump & Sons, but Jeff Bezos stated that the deal was "very expensive, but worth it". The budget for the show has not officially been announced, but Andy Wilman, the former executive producer of Top Gear stated that each episode would have a budget of around £4.5 million, nine times larger than Top Gear's budget. Also in July, Amazon announced plans to expand the service into India.
In September 2015 the word "Instant" was dropped from its title in the US, and it was renamed simply Amazon Video. In November 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was pursuing streaming rights to U.S. professional sports leagues to further differentiate the service.
Amazon announced in November 2016 that it planned to stream The Grand Tour globally, which led to speculation over whether the full Amazon Video service would begin a wider international rollout to compete with Netflix. On December 14, 2016, Amazon Video expanded into 200 additional countries.
In January 2017, Amazon announced Anime Strike, an anime focused Amazon Channels service. In May 2017, Amazon Channels expanded into Germany and the UK; in the UK, the company reached deals to offer channels from Discovery Communications (including Eurosport), and live/on-demand content from ITV.
In April 2017, Amazon began to make sports-related content acquisitions, first acquiring non-exclusive rights to stream portions of the NFL's Thursday Night Football games during the 2017 NFL season to Prime subscribers in a $50 million deal, replacing a previous deal with Twitter. In August, Amazon acquired the British television rights to the ATP World Tour beginning 2018, replacing Sky Sports.
Depending on the device, Amazon supports up to 4K (UHD) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) streaming. UHD/HDR rolled out with its original content. Other titles support 1080p (HD) streaming with 5.1 Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus audio. For titles available for purchase (and not included in a customer's Amazon Prime subscription), the HD option is often offered at an additional price.
Amazon Video is available worldwide (except for Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea). Initially it was available only to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Austria, causing customers living outside Amazon Video's available countries to increasingly use VPN to get around the geographical restrictions.
Amazon video is available on Amazon's "Fire" devices, smart phones, tablets, PCs, and various TVs, Blu-ray players and consoles with a broadband connection. TVs supporting the service include LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. Sony TVs supporting Android TV include the Amazon Video app. Consoles supporting Amazon Video include recent PlayStation, Xbox, Wii and Wii U.
On October 1, 2015, Amazon announced that Chromecast and Apple TV products were banned from sale on its online marketplace effective October 29, 2015. Amazon argued that this was to reduce "customer confusion", as these devices do not support the Amazon Video ecosystem.
|Amazon.com||Kindle Fire||Tablet||1080p||Up to Dolby Atmos support|
|Fire Phone||Smartphone||1080p||N/A||Discontinued on Amazon website|
|Fire TV||Digital media player||Up to 4K||Up to Dolby Digital 7.1 support|
|Fire TV Stick||Up to 1080p|
|Apple Inc.||iPhone||Smartphone||Up to 1080p||N/A|
|iPad||Tablet||Up to 4K||Up to loudspeaker support|
|Apple TV||Digital media player||1080p||N/A||Compatible with an iOS device in AirPlay, application itself coming in 2017|
|Android||Mobile operating system||Varies||Application available on Google Play. Varies through device and version.|
|LG||2010+ models||Smart television||Only select 2010 LG Smart TV and Blu-ray player models and up|
|Nvidia||Shield TV||Digital media player||4K HDR|
|Shield TV Pro||Digital media player|
|Microsoft||Xbox 360||Home video game console||Up to 1080p||Up to Dolby Digital 5.1 support||May vary depending on console specifications and models|
|Xbox One||Up to 1080p||7.1 surround sound support|
|Wii U||720p||5.1 Linear PCM|
|DSi||Handheld game console||N/A||N/A||Any model|
|Roku||Roku||Digital media player||Up to 1080p||HDMI out|
|Roku 2||Up to 1080p|
|Roku LT||Up to 720p|
|Roku 3||Up to 1080p|
|Roku 4||Up to 4K|
|Samsung||2010+ models||Smart television||Varies||Only select 2010 Samsung Smart TV and Blu-ray player models and up|
|Sony||BRAVIA||2015+Android TV||Up to 4K||Up to Dolby Digital 7.1|
|PlayStation 3||Home video game console||1080p||LCPM Dolby Digital 5.1|
|PlayStation Vita||Handheld game console||nHD||Stereo|
|PlayStation TV||Microconsole||HDMI out||2-channel LCPM|
Awards and nominations
|2017||Diversity in Media Awards||Broadcaster of the Year||Amazon Video UK||Nominated|
2. By GREG BENSINGER : /review-yyyrycnread/best/articles/amazon-ups-the-ante-on-streaming-video-1460944802