Amazon Prime Video will soon be in more countries than Netflix

Amazon is branching out.
Amazon is branching out.
Image: AP Photo/Reed Saxon
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Amazon Prime Video is about to leapfrog Netflix.

The online behemoth is gearing up for a massive global expansion (paywall) that will stretch its streaming-video service from five countries to more than 200 countries and territories. In doing so, its global footprint would overtake that of streaming-video giant Netflix, which expanded very suddenly itself earlier this year to 190 countries.

News of Prime Video’s international rollout leaked earlier this week, when Jeremy Clarkson, host of Amazon’s new show The Grand Tour, tweeted:

Amazon later confirmed that the show would be available in more than 200 countries and territories beginning in December, and launched a mailing list to let fans know when the program premieres in each country.

Amazon has provided few other details about the expansion, such as what programs besides The Grand Tour will be available and whether subscribers in other countries will also have access to other Prime perks.

Previously, Amazon’s streaming-video service was tied to its $99-a-year Prime membership, which offers free and expedited shipping, as well as perks like music streaming. It’s currently only available in six countries—the US, UK, Germany, Austria, Japan, and, most recently, India, which does not yet have Amazon’s video service. Amazon has not revealed how many Prime members it has, but estimates place its subscriber base in the ballpark of 60 million. Netflix had 83 million paid streaming subscribers around the world as of the third quarter of 2016.

But, in April, Amazon spun Prime Video into a standalone service, allowing subscribers to access unlimited video streaming for $8.99 a month—$2 less than the cost of a full Prime membership. The move laid the groundwork for Amazon to grow Prime Video in regions where it’s not yet ready to roll out Prime delivery fully.

It quietly turned on Prime Video in Australia, for example, ahead of the launch of The Grand Tour, according to local news reports. The service appears to be slightly more expensive there at $10.99 a month. It’s unclear whether that comes with the benefits of a full Prime membership.