About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

19 December 2016

Amazon Prime Video

The Grand Tour is not the most pirated show ever - but it certainly is one of the most pirated shows ever. That is not too surprising - Top Gear in the days of Clarkson was also one of the most pirated shows. Some years back, I wrote a paper on digital piracy (also related to a presentation at Indicare 2005) where I proposed that a key cause of piracy was availability of media and convenient format of media - and while factors such as price matter, digital piracy would remain an issue if availability in the right format is not solved for. The Grand Tour is the perfect example of this proposal - launching a highly popular show (well at least Top Gear was) but constrained to a few locations instead of the global reach.

Amazon's Prime Video service has now taken the leap of bridging the availability conundrum with its global launch. The key attraction - shown prominently on the web page - is off course The Grand Tour; but it does offer more than that. Amazon's own original series - Mozart in the Jungle, Man in the High Castle - are also on offer; and the price is phenomenal at USD 2.99 for the first 6 months followed by the standard price of USD 5.99. Oh, and there is a free trial also for a month.

However, the breadth of content is quite underwhelming. Starting with Amazon's own content - the content available is not all the content produced by Amazon. Furthermore, not all the seasons are there - I have access Mozart in the Jungle's first season, not the second for example (and the same with Transparent). Outside Amazon's own content - there are very few other top TV series, and the catalogue for movies is equally bare. 

Catalogue of content aside, the other big annoyance is the lack of Apple TV support. At this moment, I am downloading content to my phone and then playing via Airplay (and I am very impressed with its power efficiency). But what I would rather prefer is to queue content download on Apple TV, instead of relying on downloading when I am at home.I have tried the streaming - and have been generally quite impressed with the quality and speed. My Internet connection is flaky so prefer the download approach - but generally I have been impressed by the app.

I expect that the catalogue will grow with time - and there is enough right now to keep me interested and subscribed. I just need the Apple TV app ...


Anonymous said...

Alapan, "underwhelming" is euphemistic -- the content available to South Africans is very, very poor. To add insult to injury, you only get to realise that a show is unavailable after selecting it and waiting for the stream to start (the main menu isn't integrated with their geographic licensing system). I will not be continuing my trial membership.

alapan said...

Actually, I have had no issues with content being "unavailable" - I only see content that is available for South Africa. I have only browsed on my phone - have found the system to be great in that respect.