View Finder: How does Stan feel about Amazon Prime anyway?
Motoring enthusiasts might get to watch their Top Gear successor, but what about Stan’s licensing deals?
Confession time: I’ve never had any interest whatsoever in watching a handful of old blokes talk about cars. I personally can’t understand how it’s even considered entertainment. But obviously I’m in the minority there – Top Gear was, and still is, one of the most popular shows on television, and the rights for the The Grand Tour have been hotly contested for a while now.
Today’s news that Australians can now sign up to Amazon Prime with their Aussie credit cards and watch the show is sure to make a heap of people happy. But it may be a little premature to celebrate a local launch of the service.
Much like Netflix’s service before it launched in Australia, Amazon may be accepting Aussie credit cards, but it’s not gleefully accepting Aussie customers. If you register for a trial account with an Australian address, you’re greeted with a message that Amazon will happily charge you, but you won’t enjoy the benefits of the service (although we’ve tried it, and you will to a limited degree).
What’s more, delving into the terms and conditions of Amazon Prime Video you’ll notice that the third item on the agenda is that the streaming platform isn’t available to customers outside the US. Sure, they might not be making you dive through quite so many hoops to watch the Grand Tour now, but don’t expect it to keep working.
Even if you do sign up, the value isn’t really there. Much of the content on Amazon Prime is licensed to different stakeholders in Australia – Stan has Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent, for example. At the moment, Aussie Prime subscribers get a geo-restriction error message if they try and watch these shows, which means that the amount of content available is severely limited to audiences outside Australia. There's also no current access to iOS or Android apps either, so you need to watch from a computer or via a VPN.
Some quick addition shows that there are about 22 programs you’ll get to watch while “abroad” on your Amazon Prime account, with many of those being kids programs. You may get to watch Clarkson and his friends talk about cars, but is that worth US$12 a month?
If you like your streaming entertainment to be a bit more dramatic, Stan is shouting about this behind the scene video for season 2 of its exclusively licensed hit show Billions:
The second season is going to be fast tracked to Australia when it returns on February 20, 2017
The one with the Friends and stuff
Speaking of Stan, I’ve been bingeing Friends with my wife for the past forever (well, since Stan got the rights anyway). We’re almost at the end of Season 7 now and despite the fact we have three more seasons to work through, we’re thinking about what’s going to come next.
Following last week’s announcement my initial suggestion is going to be that we shift from one group of 90s friends to another and start bingeing Seinfeld, but part of me wonders if that will just be too much nostalgia?
That question led me to this one: Are streaming services more popular for new, original series, or for the ability to binge watch older classics? I have both Netflix and Stan accounts, and I try and balance the two, but I’m keen to hear other streaming trends. Drop a comment below with your streaming habits, or hit us up on the finder tech Twitter account or Facebook page.