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Amazon Video (branded as Amazon Prime Video outside the United States)[citation needed] is an Internet video on demand service that is developed, owned, and operated by Amazon. 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.[1]

Amazon Video
Amazon-Video.svg
Type of site
Traded as NASDAQAMZN
Headquarters United States
Area served Worldwide (excluding Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Syria)
Industry Internet
Parent Amazon.com
Subsidiaries Video Direct
Website amazon.com/video primevideo.com
Alexa rank Decrease 7 (As of 6 August 2016)
Registration Required
Launched September 7, 2006; 11 years ago (2006-09-07)
Current status Active

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.[2]

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.[3] The service was previously available in Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 2012, but was discontinued in 2013.[4] On April 18, 2016, Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime in the US for $8.99 per month.[5] 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) 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.[6]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The service debuted on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States.[7] On September 4, 2008, the service was renamed Amazon Video on Demand. [8][9]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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14][15] 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.[16]

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.[17][18] The service subsequently added other partners, such as HBO and Cinemax, Fandor, PBS Kids, and Seeso.[19]

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".[20] 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.[21] Also in July, Amazon announced plans to expand the service into India.[22]

In September 2015 the word "Instant" was dropped from its title in the US, and it was renamed simply Amazon Video.[23] 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.[24][25][26]

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.[27][28] On December 14, 2016, Amazon Video expanded into 200 additional countries.[29]

In January 2017, Amazon announced Anime Strike, an anime focused Amazon Channels service.[30] 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.[18][31]

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.[32] In August, Amazon acquired the British television rights to the ATP World Tour beginning 2019, replacing Sky Sports. The deal will run until 2023 and will exclusively show all masters 1000 events and 12 500 and 250 series tournaments. Amazon will be the third party pay TV provider for the ATP finals and starting in 2018 for Queens Club and Eastbourne tournaments.[33][34] The ATP announced a two year deal in September for Amazon to stream the Next Generation ATP Finals.[35] In November it was announced that Amazon had acquired the British television rights to the US Open for five years from the 2018 edition, for a reported £30 million. Eurosport who owned the pan European rights extended their deal with the US Open but excluded the UK, which was ironic as Amazon had reached a deal with the broadcaster to stream their channels on their station.[36] The ATP additionally announced that Amazon in the US would screen the tennis channel, Tennis TV from 2018.[37]

List of Amazon ChannelsEdit

InformationEdit

Video qualityEdit

Depending on the device, Amazon supports up to 4K (UHD) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) streaming. UHD/HDR rolled out with its original content.[38] 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.

RequirementsEdit

Amazon Video is available worldwide (except for Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Syria).[6] Initially it was available only to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Austria,[39][40] causing customers living outside Amazon Video's available countries to increasingly use VPN to get around the geographical restrictions.

Customers of Amazon Video can stream on the web using an HTML5 player (supported in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Edge, Safari and Opera).[41]

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.[42]

DevicesEdit

Manufacturer Product Type Quality Notes Ref
Video Audio
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 [43]
Fire TV Stick Up to 1080p
Apple Inc. iPhone Smartphone Up to 1080p N/A
iPad Tablet Up to 4K Up to loudspeaker support [44]
Apple TV Digital media player 1080p N/A Compatible with an iOS device in AirPlay, application itself coming in 2017
Google Android Mobile operating system Varies Application available on Google Play. Varies through device and version. [45]
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 4k 7.1 surround sound support Only Xbox One S and X models support 4k, basic Xbox One models support up to 1080p
Nintendo Wii 480i N/A
Wii U 720p 5.1 Linear PCM

Analog stereo

[46]
DSi Handheld game console N/A N/A Any model
3DS nHD Stereo
2DS nHD Mono
Roku Roku Digital media player Up to 1080p HDMI out [47]
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 [48]
PlayStation 3 Home video game console 1080p LCPM Dolby Digital 5.1 [49]
PlayStation 4 up to 4k|HDMI 4k only on PS4 Pro and Slim models only {{N/A} [46]
PlayStation Vita Handheld game console nHD Stereo
PlayStation TV Microconsole HDMI out 2-channel LCPM

See alsoEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Broadcaster of the Year Amazon Video UK Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kleinman, Alexis (April 23, 2014). "Amazon Prime Just Got Way Better With A Ton Of Old HBO Shows". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ Lythe, Ruth (February 26, 2014). "Amazon Prime customers angered at unwanted upgrade as internet giant hikes cost of subscription by £30 a year". Daily Mail. 
  3. ^ Amazon Prime, Prime is Fast Delivery and More, Looking for the Prime Video Monthly Membership? "After your free trial, Prime Video is just £5.99/month. You can cancel your membership at any time". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Lawler, Ryan (June 10, 2013). "Amazon's LOVEFiLM Pulls Its Subscription DVD And Streaming Service Out Of Scandinavia". TechCrunch. 
  5. ^ Benjamin Mayo (April 18, 2016). "Video streaming race heats up, Amazon now offers its Prime Video service independent of Prime subscription for $8.99/mo". 9to5Mac. 
  6. ^ a b "Amazon Prime Video Now Available in More Than 200 Countries and Territories Around the World". phx.corporate-ir.net. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  7. ^ ""Amazon Unbox on TiVo" Now Available, Offering Over 1.5 Million Broadband-Ready TiVo Subscribers Access to Thousands of Movies and TV Shows". corporate-ir.net. 
  8. ^ "Amazon Customers Can Now Instantly Watch Ad-Free Movies and TV Shows on Macs, PCs and Compatible Sony BRAVIA Televisions Starting Today on Amazon Video On Demand". corporate-ir.net. 
  9. ^ "Amazon.com Help: Amazon Instant Video". amazon.com. 
  10. ^ Christina Warren (February 22, 2011). "HANDS ON: Amazon's Prime Instant Video". Mashable. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
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  12. ^ "Amazon Adds Movies to Streaming Service in New Challenge to Netflix". AdAge. September 4, 2012. 
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  15. ^ Mance, Henry (February 21, 2014). "Amazon finds less passionate name for Lovefilm streaming service". Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  16. ^ "AMAZON.COM ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER SALES UP 15% TO $29.33 BILLION" (XBRL). United Securities and Exchange Commission. January 29, 2015. 
  17. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (December 8, 2015). "Amazon Makes A Bid For Cord Cutters, Adds Showtime, Starz And More Streaming Partners To Prime". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
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  21. ^ "Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's new Amazon Prime show has an absolutely insane budget". independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
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  24. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 21, 2016). "Amazon Wants Live-Streaming Sports Rights for Prime Video, but What Will It Really Be Able to Secure?". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  25. ^ Shalini, Ramachandran (November 22, 2016). "Amazon Explores Possible Premium Sports Package With Prime Membership: Has held talks for live game rights with leagues including NBA, MLB, NFL and MLS". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  26. ^ Crum, Rex (November 22, 2016). "Biz Break: Amazon's looking at adding live sports to Prime video service". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
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  28. ^ Ingram, Matthew (November 18, 2016). "Amazon Is Gunning for Netflix With Global Launch of Prime Video". Fortune.com. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  29. ^ Natalie Jarvey (December 14, 2016). "Amazon Takes Video Streaming Service Global in Challenge to Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  30. ^ Spangler, Todd (January 12, 2017). "Amazon Launches Anime Channel for $5 Per Month, Its First Branded Subscription Channel". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  31. ^ Sweney, Mark (2017-05-23). "Amazon steps up battle with Netflix and Sky by adding new UK channels". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
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  33. ^ Sweney, Mark (2017-08-01). "Amazon outbids Sky to win exclusive ATP tour tennis rights". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  34. ^ https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/atp-atp-media-expand-partnership-with-amazon-prime-video
  35. ^ http://www.nextgenatpfinals.com/en/news-and-media/tennis/atp-media-amazon-prime-video-next-gen-atp-finals-2017
  36. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2017/11/15/amazon-continues-foray-tennis-broadcasting-uk-rights-us-open/
  37. ^ https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/atp-atp-media-expand-partnership-with-amazon-prime-video
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  47. ^ Roku. "Roku - Streaming TV & Media Player". Roku. 
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External linksEdit