American video-streaming services are like buses if you happen to live in Japan. Fresh off the news that Netflix is heading to the East Asian country next week, Amazon has revealed that its Prime Video service will also swoop into the Land of the Rising Sun.
Netflix is all set to debut in Japan on September 2, with Amazon Prime Video landing at some point next month — the U.S. firm hasn’t been specific on the exact launch date at this point.
“Prime Video will offer thousands of popular Japanese and U.S. movies and TV shows, anime series, music concerts and variety shows, plus Amazon’s own award-winning originals and new Japanese originals,” Amazon said in an announcement.
In terms of pricing, Amazon’s service is available for free to existing Prime customers who pay ¥3,900 ($32) per year, that works out at around ¥325 ($2.70) per month, and get other perks related to Amazon shopping. Netflix, which is of course just a standalone video service, will be priced upwards of ¥650 ($5.40) per month before tax. A standard plan with two high-definition streams is ¥950 ($7.90), while a premium plan (four streams) comes in at ¥1,450 ($12).
Amazon may have price advantage and an existing userbase to tap into — the Prime service has been available in Japan for 10 years — but Netflix has tapped an influencer to help get word out. It partnered with SoftBank in a deal that will see the telecom giant support Netflix carrier billing and pre-load the app on its devices from October.
Let the streaming games begin, Japan style!
Yup, any excuse for Takeshi’s Castle