Type of site
|Traded as||NASDAQ: AMZN|
|Area served||United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Austria|
|Alexa rank||7 (As of 6 August 2016)|
|Launched||September 7, 2006|
Amazon Video is an Internet video on demand service developed, owned and operated by Amazon.com. It offers television shows and films for rental 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 7 September 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 and 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. In 18 April 2016, Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime in the US for $8.99/m The service also hosts Amazon Original content alongside titles on Video as well.
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. The Unbox name still refers to the local program, which as of August 2014 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 26 February 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.
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.
Amazon announced in November 2016 that it planned to stream The Grand Tour globally, although it did not imply whether the full Amazon Video service would begin a wider international rollout similarly to Netflix.
In November 2016, the Wall Street Journal and numerous other media outlets were reporting that Amazon was in discussion with various sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, MLS, NHL, WSL, the ACC, MLL, NLL, IPL, etc) about providing a sports package streaming TV service option for Amazon Prime members. James DeLorenzo, who joined the company in March 2016 as head of sports video channels, is spearheading the talks. He is the former VP and GM of Sports Illustrated Digital. Sunil Dave, a former Dish Network executive, is providing negotiations support. Amazon has not decided if the sports package will be free with a Prime membership or will be offered to Prime members for an additional fee.
Depending on the device, Amazon supports up to 1080p (HD) streaming with 5.1 Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus audio. For titles that are only 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 supports 4K (UHD) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) streaming, beginning with its original content.
Amazon Video is currently only available to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Austria. There is also a rising trend among those living outside Amazon Video's available countries of using a VPN to get around the geographical restrictions. Customers of Amazon Video can stream on the web using an HTML5 player supported in the Chrome, IE11 and Microsoft Edge browsers, or using Microsoft Silverlight in Firefox and Safari.
Use on various TVs, Blu-ray players and consoles (including Panasonic, LG, Samsung and other TVs) requires a broadband connection. Amazon Video is also available on recent PlayStation, Xbox, Wii and Wii U video game consoles.
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|
|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|
|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||PlayStation 3||Home video game console||1080p||LCPM|
|PlayStation Vita||Handheld game console||nHD||Stereo|
|PlayStation TV||Microconsole||HDMI out||2-channel LCPM|
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2. By GREG BENSINGER : http://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-ups-the-ante-on-streaming-video-1460944802