Amazon Prime Video to go global and challenge Netflix in Grand Tour drive

18 Nov 2016

Will The Grand Tour deliver the ratings Amazon Prime Video is gambling on? Image: Amazon Prime Video

With the impending launch of The Grand Tour, Amazon’s streaming service Amazon Prime is about to go global and take on Netflix around the world in 200 markets.

The Grand Tour is the new car show presented by ex-Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. They left the BBC show – which at its peak had 350m viewers worldwide – after a highly public spat between Clarkson and a producer.

Amazon Prime Video is currently only available in five countries – US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan, with India coming soon.

When The Grand Tour launches today (18 November), it will be available only in four of those countries.

A grand vista for Amazon

However, in a video released featuring Clarkson, Hammond and May, it was confirmed that while initially it will be available in only four countries, Amazon has a bigger plan.

In December, Amazon Prime will launch the show globally in more than 200 countries around the world.

The presenters said that when The Grand Tour launches worldwide, subscribers will be able to get an update show every Friday.

But what does this mean? Is Amazon Prime in its entirety, with its array of content including own-produced shows and movies, going to go global for everyone? Or will it just be The Grand Tour by itself?

Hardly. If Amazon moves on this, it should be in for a penny, in for a pound.

It is a long overdue opportunity for Amazon to finally take on Netflix, which is currently live in 160 countries around the world and enjoys a near-monopoly in terms of quality streaming subscription services.

Meanwhile, petrol heads around the world will be revved up to enjoy the new motoring show in December.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years