Amazon soft launches Prime video streaming service in Australia

Global retail giant Amazon has soft launched its video streaming service, Amazon Prime, in Australia, coinciding with the launch of its new flagship show ‘The Grand Tour’.


Amazon overnight dropped geoblocks preventing Australians from signing up for its Prime service, which allows users to get free parcel delivery and access its video streaming catalogue for a fixed yearly sum.

It will go head-to-head with Netflix, and Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media owned Stan in the competitive space, which has already seen the folding of Foxtel’s Presto service. 


Tech journalist Trevor Long discovered the launch overnight reporting: “Well, wasn’t I surprised to find out what happened when I clicked the ‘Sign up for Amazon Prime’ button. It let me. Asked for my credit card – and accepted it.”

Amazon announced yesterday it would launch the service in 200 countries next year, but the soft launch will enable the service to capitalise on local interest in The Grand Tour, which stars former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond and premieres today, November 18.

In celebration of the launch of the show the carrier is also offering a one day only discount in reducing its annual fee to $79 from $99, although users are also offered a 30 days free trial of the service.

However the service will not carry the full breadth of Amazon Prime content seen overseas in Australia, with shows like Mr Robot owned by Presto and Amazon originals Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent shown locally by Stan.

Mumbrella revealed last week that Stan had not been able to secure the rights for The Grand Tour locally.


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