In Japan, globally popular internet video streaming services are like buses — you wait forever then two show up at once. Following Netflix's recent announcement that it'd come to Asia for the first time with a Japanese launch on September 2nd, Amazon has followed suit by saying that Prime Video will be available in the country this fall.
Amazon hasn't revealed much about the content lineup so far, except to say in a statement that Prime Video will feature "thousands of popular Japanese and US movies and TV shows, anime series, music concerts, and variety shows, plus Amazon's own award-winning originals and new Japanese originals."
Prime only costs $32 a year in Japan
Whatever the lineup, it should help make Prime an even better deal in Japan; the service will remain priced at ¥3900 (about $32) a year, compared with $99 a year in the US (which does have some features Japan doesn't, like Prime Music). Netflix will offer price tiers from ¥650 (about $5.40) to ¥1,450 (about $12) a month, meaning that its cheapest option in Japan will be twice as expensive as Prime Video — and that's without including free shipping on Amazon.
Of course, a big question right now is how the two services will compare in terms of content. And perhaps an even bigger question is whether Japan will take to the idea of streaming video at all; despite the country's huge population of affluent, tech-savvy entertainment consumers, DVD rentals are still very popular and online subscription services like Hulu have failed to hit the mainstream.