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Amazon is Quietly Expanding Its SVoD OTT Service –Possibly Worldwide
All signs point to an impending Amazon expansion as word has gotten out that 200 countries will be able to tune into Amazon’s “The Grand Tour”, an automotive lifestyle series from the guys behind “Top Gear”.
In tweets advertising the upcoming show one of the stars, Jeremy Clarkson said “Amazon has gone global,” “It’s going to be available in 200 territories. That’s pretty much everywhere.” The show debuts today but the tweets indicated it will be available on Amazon’s website exclusively and worldwide starting in December.
Amazon has not elaborated on plans to expand Amazon Video but one indication that there truth to the speculation and tweets is that Amazon has silently launched its Prime Video service in Australia, first uncovered by Gizmodo Australia and EFTM. The tech sites found that connections from Australian IP addresses are no longer blocked by Amazon Prime with prospective subscribers able to access the UK or US Amazon sites. The Prime Video service is listed at $10.99 per month and the service is accepting Australian credit cards although the Prime shopping subscription service offering free shipping along with other perks has not launched as the logistics of the service like shipping or delivery options and warehouses has to be worked out.
An official launch of the Amazon Prime Video service in Australia is expected in the next month or so, likely around when Amazon will reveal its plans behind delivering video to 200 countries. As of now Amazon has reported it plans to launch Prime Video in India, and the service is already available in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan – and now Australia. But if it is true that Prime Video will expand to reach 200 countries the competition between the service and Netflix will be closer than ever.
Ten Days until DirecTV Now Arrives
November 28 is the official date that AT&T has announced as the launch event day for DirecTV Now.
As the launch of the service has gotten closer and closer more insight into DirecTV Now has been revealed. We know that the starting price of the service will be $35 per month, that over 100 channels will be included in the OTT TV service including premium channels HBO and Starz, documents revealed support for a 72-hour catch-up window so users can view content from the last three days and those same documents reviewed by Variety also revealed special sign-up offers like free Apple TVs and Amazon Fire TV sticks for customers that commit to three months or one month of the service.
But now with the official launch on the horizon soon all will of DirecTV Now will be revealed and from the looks of it, a new competitor in the OTT TV space will enter the market.
Warner Bros Buys Machinima in $100m Deal
Time Warner is now in possession of a Web video network. Time Warner’s Warner Bros has purchased the YouTube multi-channel network (MCN) Machinima that’s focused on video gaming and gaming culture in a deal that valued the MCN for just under $100 million. Warner Bros, which wants access to Machinima’s geek gaming audience to bolster its DC comics properties, will add Machinima to its Digital Networks group.
“Machinima is a strong gamer and fandom content and social brand with enormous reach and high engagement with audiences that play our games and are big fans of DC films and television shows,” said Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy for Warner Bros Television Group and president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks. “Machinima also produces great, high-quality content for their community, and together we can create an even more compelling experience and do some really exciting things involving our key franchises. This acquisition is another meaningful move forward as Warner Bros develops more direct relationships with our consumers.”
Machinima works with 100,000 content creators and has an audience reach of 150 million viewers per month. The MCN has distribution deals with Sony PlayStation Vue, Amazon Video and Verizon’s Go90, among others. Under Warner Bros Digital Networks, Machinima will join SVoD services DramaFever and Warner Archive Instant.
AOL Restructures to Focus on Mobile, Data & Video
Verizon’s AOL is seeing a shake-up that’ll result in a 5% reduction in staff and renewed focus on mobile video. AOL head Tim Armstrong told employees this week the company needs to “move in front of change rather than be moved by change,” and that means responding to the dramatic trends in mobile video and data. AOL will shift more money to mobile, data and video operations.