Amazon has grabbed the bull by the horns today in its video streaming battle with Netflix. The company announced it will start offering its Prime Instant Video service in Japan starting next month.
Netflix has previously made clear it plans to enter the Japanese market on September 2, and has tapped SoftBank to offer carrier billing for its launch there. The Netflix app will also come pre-installed on some Japanese phones as part of the deal.
Jasper Cheung, president of Amazon Japan, shared the following in a statement:
“As we’ve shown with the launch of Prime Video in the U.S. and around the world, we are investing significantly to bring high-quality, local and popular programming to Prime members, and our customers in Japan should expect the same investment. We’ve been offering videos and DVDs in Japan for 15 years — we know the entertainment customers want — and we plan to deliver it with Prime Video, all at no additional cost.”
Amazon is expected to create exclusive content tailored to Japanese consumers, likely to include anime and popular local dramas. VP of Amazon Studios (which spent $1.3 billion on original content production in 2014) Roy Price confirmed this when he said that, “Prime members in Japan will love what we introduce just for them”.
The company currently offers Prime in Japan for $32.50 per year, which is almost half the price of Netflix’s planed offering when calculated on a monthly basis ($2.70 versus $5.40).
Amazon has in fact been offering Prime in Japan for a decade, but it’s taken until now for its streaming services to catch up there.
Overall, the battle between the two giants is fierce, and it’s led some to ponder how Amazon can best compete. One theory suggests spinning out Prime Video as a standalone service.
Reports also surfaced today that Amazon is giving up on its smartphone-making efforts.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where cu… read more »
With more than 25 million members in the United States, Canada and Latin America, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world’s leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For US$7.99 a month, Netflix members … read more »
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