December 14, 2016 / 12:30 PM / a year ago

Amazon launches Prime Video globally, leaves out China

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday launched its video-on-demand service, Prime Video, in nearly every country except China, pitting itself against video-streaming pioneer Netflix Inc.

Prime Video, home to popular shows such as “The Grand Tour”, “Transparent” and “The Man in the High Castle”, will now be bundled with Prime subscriptions in 19 countries including India, Canada and France.

In other new regions, Prime Video customers will have to pay $2.99 or 2.99 euros per month for the first six months, after which the price will be doubled to $5.99 or 5.99 euros.

Amazon has been spending heavily, sometimes at the cost of profits, on the creation and marketing of movies and TV shows.

The company hopes that people will sign up for its Prime service to watch these videos - and in turn buy more goods from its online store to make the annual subscription worth it.

The Prime Video launch comes almost a year after Netflix Inc went global with its video-streaming service - rolling it out in more than 130 countries with the notable exception of China.

Subscriptions for Netflix, known for shows such as “Stranger Things”, “Daredevil” and “Narcos”, start at $8.99.

Amazon Prime Video members can also access videos offline on mobile devices, a feature Netflix introduced late last month. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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