Amazon Prime Video service reportedly prepping huge global expansion

Image: Amazon

Amazon’s streaming video service could be girding up to take on Netflix across the globe as the service is reportedly planning to expand to 200 countries.

The Wall Street Journal cited an unnamed source who said Amazon is “on the verge” of the large-scale expansion, which will take the service beyond U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan, where it’s currently available.

As the report points out, rumors of the expansion first surfaced when Jeremy Clarkson, star of upcoming Amazon series The Grand Tour, tweeted about the global availability of his new show.

The show debuts on Friday, Nov. 18 but according to the show’s website, it will be available globally starting in December.

While it’s still unclear if the expansion will apply to Amazon Prime Video as a whole, it’s worth noting that The Grand Tour is exclusive to the Prime Video platform.

Of course, beyond the launch of one series, the expansion would put Amazon in a stronger position to compete with rival Netflix, which has already expanded its availability to about 190 countries.

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At CES earlier this year, Netflix announced the significant global expansion, which didn’t include China, a country into which Netflix has since tried and failed to gain entry.

"You're witnessing the birth of the global TV network," boasted Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

The international expansion for Netflix has paid off with a big boost to subscriber totals. As of the third quarter 2016, Netflix has 47.5 million total U.S. subscribers another 39.25 million international subscribers. The company is projecting it will grow its international subscriber base to 43 million by the fourth quarter, meaning it will have added nearly 10 million international subscribers since announcing its expansion in January.