Amazon Prime may launch in Canada on Thursday

By Polycarp Kazaresam

In Canada, CraveTV could face competition from Amazon. As soon as Thursday, Amazon launches its Prime video streaming service in Canada. CraveTV is owned by Netflix and Bell.

The latter firm’s president Mary Ann Turcke commented, “a new global OTT competitor — Amazon Prime — is entering the Canadian market in two days."

Previously, former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has suggested that Amazon’s arrival in Canada was imminent.

“So. People of Ireland, Canada, Australia and pretty well everywhere else. You WILL be able to watch the Grand Tour. Amazon has gone global,” he tweeted.

Amazon Prime is essentially like Netflix – it offers an extensive library of TV shows and films for online streaming. Also like Netflix, Amazon produces is own content, e.g. Emmy- and Golden Globe winning show Transparent. Amazon also offers free expedited shipping on particular items.

Amazon is an over the top (OTT) player - something that Bell Media are wary of. Turcke described Amazon and Netflix as phenomenal competition.

"So it's not just our fellow Canadian broadcasters who will try to outbid us for first-run, original programming, but it's Netflix and now Amazon, two entities that are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as us and that have astronomically more buying power than we do," said Turcke, according to a copy of her presentation posted on the CRTC website.

Turcke also described "a world where Netflix (or another global OTT player) acquires the majority of the top prime time network television shows."

 

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