Tonight out of sheer interest I decided to take a look at the Amazon website, and despite my disdain for them after their announcement earlier today that their streaming video service would launch “in December” missing the launch of “The Grand Tour” – I’d sign up for their notification so I was ready when they were.
I, like many hundreds of thousands of Australians – including HOLDENMAN3000 whoever you are – have been eagerly awaiting the launch of Amazon Prime for the exclusive access to Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s new show The Grand Tour.
Sadly, it seemed that Amazon had snubbed us and would launch many weeks after the first episode, thus encouraging the active Australian pirate content community to just get it as they wish.
Well, wasn’t I surprised to find out what happened when I clicked the “Sign up for Amazon Prime” button. It let me. Asked for my Credit Card – and accepted it.
I had a double take – had I signed up for some useless service (Given I don’t shop on Amazon)? So I trawled my way through the horrible user interface at Amazon to find “Your Prime Video” – and was presented with a wide variety of video content cover art to click on.
Surely the stream won’t work though? Goliath – huge Amazon production.
Yep, it worked.
Wait – what? Yep, It worked. I was streaming an Amazon Original Series via Amazon’s website using Amazon Prime as a paid subscriber using my normal Amazon account with an Australian address and not using a VPN.
Then I rudely called three mates late tonight. Asked them to do the same. All three were also able to successfully watch Amazon Prime content.
Not all content worked. So was this just a tease?
No, there is very clear logic to the failed content. Mr Robot – region restricted – why? Foxtel/Presto own those rights.
Transparent – region restricted – why? Stan own those right.
In fact, because originally Stan had the rights to so many Amazon originals, we thought The Grand Tour would surely be there too. Not the case, in the recent 12 months Amazon has stopped licensing its new series to Stan, so more recent Amazon content – that cannot be found in Australia – is not available to watch.
What we have here is one of several possible situations.
1/ A rookie mistake.
Did an engineer, in lifting restrictions, setting up all the mechanics for The Grand Tour to go live – accidentally flick a switch? If so – this could all be shut down by the time you read this.
2/ A Soft Launch without The Grand Tour
Could it be Amazon is looking to test its content distribution networks, check the quality of the service, but in fact not offer The Grand Tour until the “Global Launch” in December
3/ A full-blown soft launch
Or, perhaps more likely, is this a soft launch. Is this all the content Amazon can legally stream to Australian consumers, while respecting their existing rights deals with Stan or any other networks – and tomorrow, will we see The Grand Tour.
How to get Amazon Prime in Australia?
Well, in fact, I did it via Amazon.co.uk – two mates I spoke to tonight successfully streamed content via Amazon.com another via the UK site.
Head to Amazon, login with that account you created years ago to buy that one thing they had, and look closely under “Your Account” for “Your Prime Video” – Let us know in the comments!