Entertainment TV Amazon Prime arrives in Australia – here’s why you’ll benefit
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Amazon Prime arrives in Australia – here’s why you’ll benefit

amazon prime
Which streaming service will win your loyalty (and monthly subscription fee)? Photo: The New Daily/Getty
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Subscription online media service Amazon Prime has launched in Australia and looks set to shake up the local market by offering users an alternative to Netflix and Stan, on top of a price drop for customers worldwide.

Despite the absence of a formal announcement from Amazon, many users have been able to sign up to the previously geo-blocked service and begin streaming content right away.

In the past, they have only ever been able to do this via a VPN connection to spoof their location.

At this point, Amazon Video and Amazon Music appear available via website only – mobile apps are not available in Australia as yet.

To view content on a HD TV, The New Daily recommends streaming from a web browser: use Chrome to stream via Chromecast; or Safari to stream via AirPlay.

Ch-ch-changes

In timing that could be described as a calculated move, Amazon also offered a 24-hour discount on the annual price of Prime membership, from US$99 to US$79, to celebrate the launch of new auto lifestyle program, The Grand Tour (see below).

Amazon has also stated this program will be available in more than 200 countries from December, so we may see a formal announcement and fanfare sooner than we think.

As 2016 draws to a close, streaming companies are making a concerted effort to gain eyeballs and subscription feeds, most notably the imminent (December) price restructuring of Foxtel Play.

These events certainly fall in line with sentiments of Amazon CEO Jeff Buzo, who previously stated: “The balance of power is shifting toward consumers and away from companies.

“The right way to respond to this if you are a company is to put the vast majority of your energy, attention and dollars into building a great product or service and put a smaller amount into shouting about it, marketing it.”

With services like Foxtel and Amazon announcing price drops and the continued bolstering of media libraries with premium content, Australian users will be the ultimate winner.

What you get on Amazon Prime

• A large video streaming library of premium TV series and movies.

• Free shipping for Amazon purchases (US only, at this point).

• A Prime Music streaming service containing millions of songs.

• Unlimited Amazon Drive photo storage.

• Unlimited Prime Reading content, including Kindle books and magazines.

It is rumoured that Amazon will launch a full service Australian store in September 2017.

Top Gear spin-off The Grand Tour is one of Amazon Prime's most enticing offerings. Photo: Amazon
Top Gear spin-off The Grand Tour is one of Amazon Prime’s most enticing offerings. Photo: Amazon

What to watch

Here are a few Amazon prime TV series The New Daily highly recommends:

The Grand Tour

The most-anticipated show Prime has to offer, this auto program is a Phoenix-reboot of the BBC’s Top Gear, starring original hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

The Night Manager

Tom Hiddleston stars alongside Hugh Laurie in this classic cloak-and-dagger story of espionage, international arms dealing and love.

Red Oaks

A coming-of-age comedy that tells the story of David (Craig Roberts of 22 Jump Street, Bad Neighbours) as he revels in the freedom of finishing high school before life begins.

The Man in the High Castle

A drama set in an alternate dystopian present, where WWII Axis powers triumphed and spread out to politically dissect nations around the world.

the night manager
Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Debicki in The Night Manager. Photo: BBC

However, bear in mind that the rights to some TV and movie titles will be owned by other Australian companies, and therefore unavailable to Australian users. Good luck navigating that nightmare, Amazon.

How do I get it?

1. Log on to amazon.com or amazon.co.uk and look for the Prime sign-up ad.

2. Click Add to Cart or Get Started.

3. Once checkout and payment is confirmed, you can access services immediately.

Amazon Prime media can be accessed via a variety of devices, including smartphones, smart TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes, Bluray players and tablets. Check here for more details.

Note: The service is currently charged in US dollars or Pounds, but once Amazon Australia officially opens it virtual doors, or even before, this will change to Australian dollars.

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