Tech Transformers

Amazon Prime Video expands to 200 countries as it steps up challenge to Netflix

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Amazon Prime Video, the e-commerce giant's streaming service, has expanded to 200 countries,the company said on Wednesday, as it steps up its challenge to Netflix.

Current customers of Prime – which lets users pay a yearly fee for quick delivery and other perks – get the service for free in territories where it is available such as France and Italy. But in other countries, users can pay an introductory price of $2.99 a month for the first six months just for Prime Video, after which it will rise to $5.99.

Amazon has increased its push against Netflix on both price and availability. Netflix cost a minimum of $7.99 a month and is available in more than 190 countries globally.Both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are not available in China. Prime Video users can download movies and TV shows for offline viewing.

On Wednesday, Amazon also put out a separate announcement about its Prime Video expansion in India, which is becoming an increasingly important region for the technology giant. Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said it would invest an additional $3 billion in India, bringing its total commitment to the country to$5 billion.

Prime Video appears to be part of this push where Amazon said it will release Bollywood and regional Indian blockbusters, Hollywood films, and its own original series.Amazon also said that it had started the production of a new original series featuring "top Indian talent and filmmakers".

Amazon and Netflix have been going head-to-head in the streaming video space, both fiercely investing in content to get ahead. Netflix pledged to spend $6 billion on content in 2017, while Amazon said it would double its current spending. The U.S. e-commerce firm said shows such as "The Grand Tour" featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, as well as many of its other originals will be available.

Analysts said that Amazon's offering is "priced extremely competitively" which could help it gain popularity.

"They are pricing it extremely competitively with Netflix and the low pricing is something which we observe with Amazon's retail offering. They are definitely looking at a market share grab early on," Richard Cooper, director of research for home entertainment at IHS Markit, told CNBC by phone.