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Amazon Gives Quiet Launch to Prime Video in Australia

Global E-commerce giant Amazon has given a stealth launch to Amazon Prime Video in Australia.

That means that “The Grand Tour,” the new motoring-lifestyle series will be immediately – and legally – available to viewers in Australia. Jeremy Clarkson and his “Top Gear” team are popular enough to perform live events Down Under.

Amazon announced earlier this week that “The Grand Tour” would soon be available in 200 territories.

The soft launch was uncovered by tech sites EFTM and Gizmodo Australia, which discovered that Amazon Prime was no longer blocking connections from Australian IP addresses and that it is accepting Australian credit cards. Would-be subscribers can access either the U.S. or U.K. sites. The site shows pricing (in U.S. dollars) at $10.99 per month.

A more official debut is expected in the next month or two. Amazon has not yet launched its Amazon Prime shopping subscription service, but it is understood to be studying delivery options in the continent-sized nation.

The launch will add to the competition in Australia’s streaming video market. The sector has quickly become dominated by Netflix and has already seen the closure of local player Quickflix and the announced January closure of the Foxtel-owned Presto.

It seems that some of Amazon’s own shows including “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle” may not be available as they are licensed to pay-TV leader Foxtel or to local streaming firm Stan. They remain geo-blocked for Australians not using a VPN. Similar availability problems occurred during Netflix’s early days in Australian, but Netflix is now believed to have over 1 million subscribers in the market less than two years after launch.

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