Monday, December 19, 2016

First look at Amazon Prime Video Canada

I received an email this morning from titled "Your Prime membership now includes Prime Video", indicating that Amazon Prime Video has been launched in Canada.

Like Youtube(Google) and Netflix, Amazon is an internet native company, so I wasn't surprised to see that Prime Video worked on most of my devices.  It plays from my desktop, Chromebook, and has an Android App.  Missing, and something people often complain about, is Chromecast support. Amazon has a competing Amazon Fire series of devices, but they are not being sold in Canada.  This is quite unfortunate that their ongoing rivalry with Google diminishes the utility of their service. Vertical integration isn't helpful, and it is inappropriate to expect everyone to have so many different incompatible devices plugged into their televisions.

This service wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I thought Amazon Prime would be more like Google Play Movies and TV, offering per-movie, per-episode or per-season pricing for video.  Instead this is more like Netflix where my yearly fee for Amazon Prime gets me access to a catalog without an incremental fee to watch each movie or TV episode.  I immediately watched the first episode of Mozart in the Jungle which looks like an interesting Amazon original series.

I will continue to evaluate.  At the moment I would rank the service higher than CraveTV, even with Amazon Video's lack of Choromecast support, as the user interface is considerably better.  This is also early for the service as they have very little Canadian licensing for content, given even Internet video services have to deal with the archaic region restrictions and region licensing.

During the DigiCanCon consultations I was made aware of some Canadian content released on Amazon Prime that was available in the USA but not Canada.  That title is still not available in Canada, but I have asked the copyright holder (via twitter) if they know if there is something they can set from their end.

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