Amazon Prime and Netflix Are Set to Go Head-to-Head in Japan

Hot on the heels of recent news that Netflix will be launching in Japan next week, Amazon Prime is now also set to bring its streaming service to the country later in September.

Although an exact date has not been set, Amazon has announced that “Prime Video will offer thousands of popular Japanese and U.S. movies and TV shows, anime series, music concerts and variety shows, plus Amazon’s own award-winning originals and new Japanese originals.”

In terms of pricing, it appears Amazon have an edge over Netflix, with the new service available at no extra cost to current Prime customers who are already paying the ¥3,900 per year (approximately ¥325 per month) and obviously also receive the existing perks involved in Amazon shopping.

Netflix, who have announced their partnership with Softbank in Japan, will reportedly charge at least ¥650 per month, with a premium plan costing over ¥1,400 per month.

While it looks like Amazon Prime will win the price point battle, it remains to be seen who will secure the biggest piece of the pie in the long run.

As discussed by Tech Crunch, the key differences in each service’s acquisition strategy are likely to determine who will reign supreme. Netflix have the power and influence of Japanese telecommunications company Softbank behind them, which is likely to result in their mobile handsets coming pre-loaded with the Netflix app in the near future. However, Amazon Prime has had its online shopping services available in Japan for a decade already—which results in an existing extensive customer-base and the ability to more easily bundle up more services than just video streaming alone into membership packages.

Let’s sit back and watch the battle unfold.

—Chris Zajko

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