As of today, December 14th, Amazon Prime Video is available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe.
Netflix' biggest competitor is now available in the almost the entire world, except for China. Customers can sign up for a Prime Video membership and watch on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Fire Tablets and LG and Samsung smart TVs.
Amazon is offering a free 7-day trial and the monthly price for this service is $2.99 or 2.99 euro for the first six months. After that, the monthly fee will double to $5.99, which is still less than Netflix subscription which is $8.99.
Netflix currently offers 30 original shows; in 2017, it will more than double its content to at least 1,000 hours according to chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
Next year marks the start of a different direction for the majority of the company's original content, too: over 20 of the upcoming shows will be unscripted, including global competition series Ultimate Beastmaster (produced by Sylvester Stallone). Scripted shows on the horizon include A Series Of Unfortunate Events (starring Neil Patrick Harris), Santa Clarita Diet (starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant), and Mind Hunter (a David Fincher series about the early days of FBI serial killer profiling).
Netflix will spend approximately $6 billion on content in 2017, an increase of $1 billion over this year. An estimated 50 percent of that will go toward original content.
Sony's video service PlayStation Vue is now available to Apple TV owners, assuming they have a 4th generation device.
Vue offers Apple TV owners live sports from ESPN and NFL Network as well as quality shows from AMC, FX, HBO, and Showtime, so you're getting a big boost. Naturally, the Siri remote and touch navigation are supported.
If you're new to Vue, sign up through the site and link your account to Apple TV. Otherwise, skip the site and link your account to get started.
PlayStation Vue users will no doubt be unhappy to learn the service has somewhat abruptly dropped Viacom networks starting today. More than 11 channels in total get the axe as a result: BET channels, Centric, CMT channels, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV channels, Nickelodeon channels, Spike, Tr3s, TV Land, and VH1.
Sony's PlayStation division explanation implies the channels simply weren't that popular, at least overall.
"As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans, while enabling us to focus on the content our users request most," it says.
Marvel's forthcoming The Defenders TV series will be shorter than you might've expected. Whereas previous Marvel shows on Netflix have offered 13 episodes each, this one will offer eight.
The likely theory is because each superhero -- Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist -- have their own shows, only so much time can be dedicated to featuring them in additional episodes. Another is that the material simply amounted to eight episodes and that's that. In either case, it's fair to assume fewer episodes and more superheroes will mean a more action-packed show.
The Defenders will debut on Netflix sometime next year. S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones, Vinyl, Orange is the New Black) will direct the first two episodes and serve as executive producer for the premiere episode.
We knew Netflix was leaning toward original content going forward, but not quite this hard: a letter sent to investors yesterday states it's planning over 1,000 hours of original content for next year, a major increase over 2016.
"We are now in the fourth year of our original content strategy and are pleased with our progress," it reads. "In 2017, we intend to release over 1,000 hours of premium original programming, up from over 600 hours this year."
It has good reason to be pleased, too: quarterly global streaming revenue exceeded $2 billion for the first time (up 36% over last year), attributed partly to success of original shows like Narcos and Stranger Things. Perhaps surprisingly, Netflix is still about breaking even for the 2016 fiscal year, but expects to finally be profitable starting next year.
Twitch and its parent company Amazon are going head to head with YouTube. If you join the new Twitch open beta, you're able to upload videos as you would on Google's service, as well as take advantage of features like follower notifications (so they know when you've uploaded something), video statistics, and more.
As you can see in the video above, the interface is easy to use and familiar to anyone who's used Twitch before, particularly the Highlights feature of the site.
What this means for the 'Export to YouTube' option on Twitch is unknown, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it gone before too long.
Pasadena, California is the latest town to impose a streaming tax on its residents. Starting January 1, the 9.4 percent tax will be applied to services like Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu.
Five other California cities have already implemented such a tax, and 45 others are on the radar.
There is opposition to the tax, of course, not just on a personal level, but legal as well: the state's leading taxpayer association Howard Jarvis questions the legality of the levy.
Just after releasing season two of docudrama series Narcos (which focuses on the life of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar), Netflix has renewed the program for two more seasons.
The season three teaser below indicates (spoiler alert) it will be about life after Escobar's reign.
It was speculated Narcos might last as little as two seasons, but this news as well as comments from showrunner Jose Padilha -- "We'll stop when the drug trade stops" -- show a broader plan is in place.
New research reveals the average child in recent years is spared 150 hours of commercials by virtue of using streaming services like Netflix. As Exstreamist's investigation illustrates, children now watch approximately 1.8 hours of streaming content per day; extrapolated over a year, that represents 650 hours, and in turn, 150 hours of commercials.
The potential results of this shift are intriguing to ponder: perhaps we'll see less kids stamping their feet in the grocery store, demanding that toy or treat. And perhaps as adults, said children will less materialistic. Either way, it's hard to imagine parents aren't happier (and richer) for it.