Amazon launches video services, new devices in Japan
US online giant Amazon said Thursday it was launching its streaming video service in Japan along with its Fire TV devices.
"Prime members in Japan now have unlimited 24/7 streaming of thousands of US and Japanese movies, TV shows, anime, music concerts and more, at no additional cost to their Prime membership," which is 3,900 yen or around $32 a year, Amazon said in a statement.
Amazon is moving into video in Japan with the same formula it has used in the United States, Britain, Germany and Austria, with a wide range of programs offered to its Prime members, who pay an annual fee.
Amazon will also sell its Fire TV streaming media box and Fire TV Stick to make it easier to stream video.
The devices may also be used to stream programs from rival services such as Hulu and Netflix. And Amazon videos may be streamed from devices made by other manufacturers including Apple's iPads and iPhones, Android phones and tablets and Sony PlayStation consoles.
Amazon last week unveiled a major home electronics push for the US market, led by a $50 tablet computer and other devices aimed at budget-conscious, gadget-hungry consumers.
The latest Fire TV devices, which compete with products from Apple as well as Roku and Google, allow users to stream in high-definition 4K.
Japanese viewers will have access to TV Asahi's variety series Summers Summers, popular anime shows such as Yokai Watch and movies like Tanteiha Bar Niiru and Shirayukihime Satsujin Jiken, Amazon said.
Also available will be Amazon's original shows and US programs which may be dubbed or subtitled.
The move comes just weeks after Netflix launched its streaming television service in Japan. Netflix said in February it planned to launch this year in Japan, following rollouts in Australia and New Zealand in March.
Currently with some 65 million subscribers in over 50 countries, Netflix has set an ambitious goal to be in 200 markets by the end of 2016.
© 2015 AFP