Amazon Prime – the TV streaming service of the e-commerce business Amazon – is rumoured to be bringing the service to Australia. And with it, its prime piece of content – The Grand Tour starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
Although actual details are sketchy, The Australian Financial Review is this morning reporting that Amazon has plans to launch in Australia next month basically on the back of the former Top Gear trio. Clarkson, of course, was sacked by the BBC for punching a producer and his cohorts followed him out the door to do a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC has struggled-on with a Clarkson-free version of Top Gear headed by Chris Evans but it has failed to resonate with fans.
Check out the Grand Tour trailer here:
Amazon originally planned to launch in Australia in 2017 when it had a better content offering, however The AFR is reporting it doesn’t want to miss the boat with next month’s debut of The Grand Tour. Even if it delayed the launch, it’s feared many Australians would simply pirate the series anyway.
Amazon would also be wary of the competitive Australian market. Last week it was announced that one of the local SVOD players, Presto – the JV between Seven and Foxtel – was to be killed off in January 2017.
Amazon would also be up against the all-conquering Netflix that has close to five million Australian subscribers according to Roy Morgan research released in June.
Not that Amazon doesn’t have deep pockets. The AFR is reporting: “But, Amazon is cashed up. Analysts estimate its investment in video content, licensed and original, will be above $3 billion annually this year and has the might of an e-commerce company that made a profit of $US857 million in the three months to the end of June.”