Amazon Prime finally challenges Netflix with Irish release

14 Dec 2016

From left: The Grand Tour presenters James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. Image: Amazon

Amazon’s much anticipated Prime video streaming service has had a global release, with Irish viewers now able to access shows including The Grand Tour and The Man in the High Castle.

With the recent release of The Grand Tour, featuring former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, Amazon Prime’s position as a streaming option rose significantly.

However, there were only a few countries that supported Amazon Prime Video, with others having to rely on other means to access shows that include The Man in the High Castle, Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.

That all changes today though as, costing €2.99 per month for the first six months, Amazon Prime is now available in Ireland, along with hundreds of other new territories.

Amazon Prime

A rival to Neflix, Amazon’s investment in its Prime Video service has been notable, as the general TV streaming industry becomes a prominent force.

Customers can sign up for an account membership through the Amazon Prime video app on iOS and Android. The company is obviously plugging Fire tablets as suitable devices, though any mobile devices will do. Also, similar to Netflix’s move earlier this month, content can be downloaded onto tablets and smartphones for offline viewing.

“We are excited to announce that starting today, fans around the world have access to Prime Video,” said Tim Leslie, VP international at Prime Video. “And what’s really exciting is that we are just getting started.”

Scene from The Man in the High Castle. Image: Amazon

Scene from The Man in the High Castle. Image: Amazon

New customers can avail of a seven-day free trial before committing.

At the moment, Netflix is the dominant streaming service, available in 160 countries and enjoying a healthy market share almost everywhere.

Amid Amazon’s Prime Video release, Netflix has not been resting on its laurels. As mentioned, it recently released a download function, perfect for people travelling outside of Wi-Fi areas.

In Ireland, customers with Virgin Media’s premium TV box Horizon can also stream through it, too.

It has become increasingly more common for the latest smart TVs to come with an in-built Netflix app, but customers who own an older TV have been left with the choice of either hooking up their laptop to the screen via a HDMI cable or transmitting it through a streaming device.

The Horizon deal will change that somewhat, and when considering Sky’s similar service through its own box, the deal makes sense.

Though now that Amazon Prime is gone global, more tweaks and improvements to Netflix’s service will no doubt follow.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic