Amazon Prime Video to spend US$6 billion to boost video-on-demand library

By @mik_mapa on
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Employees of Amazon India are seen behind a glass bearing the company's logo inside its office in Bengaluru, India, August 14, 2015. Reuters/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

Wall Street firm J.P. Morgan analysts said that Amazon Prime Video will spend US$6 billion (AU$7.9 billion) to increase the number its video-on-demand service's content. The budget nearly matches Neflix's US$8 billion (AU$10.5 billion) to be spent on original content. However, the budget of the two video services was too high compared to HBO, which only spent US$2.6 billion (AU$3.4 million) on programming in 2016.

Amazon Studios boss Roy Price said that Amazon wanted to boast the actual shows people were talking about because it was efficient and it was good economics. He said that the company was focusing on the crème de la crème of its blockbusters. It was reported that the company will be entering live sport streaming as it secured a deal with the National Football League (NFL). The deal would allow the company to stream NFL's Thursday night game.

Its competitor, Netflix, may not follow suit to the company's move to do live sport streaming. The company said that it has no plans to move into such type of streaming. As the offerings of Amazon would excite the entertainment lovers, its introduction to the country could give some impact on the Australian service Stan. The company currently holds the local licensing right of "Transparent" and "Mozart in the Jungle" that are both Amazon originals.

US-based company Amazon has positioned its service to be more affordable than its competitor. For the first six months, Amazon subscribers will pay US$2.99 (AU$4) while the regular price cost US$5.99 (AU$8). On the other hand, Netflix plans cost AU$8.99 a month for the basic package while it costs AU$14.99 for the Ultra HD package. Netflix's main advantage is its compatibility with different streaming platforms including online, iOS, Android, Apple TV, smart TVs and games consoles. Its competitor does not support Apple TV or Android TV.

The company is serious to pull the Australian audiences to take the platform by making "American Gods" available in the country on May 1. Meanwhile, its competitor features original TV series including "One Day at a Time," A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Sta. Clarita Diet," "Marvel's Iron Fist," and Sense8."

"American Gods" starred Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon who met a man named Wednesday played by Ian McShane. Shadow learned that his wife has been killed days before he completed a three-year stint in prison. When he was released in prison, Shadow was hired by Wednesday and later became a key player in a war between gods. 

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