The History of Amazon Prime Video: How It Became One of the Most Popular Streaming Services
13 April 2023
Amazon Prime Video is now one of the most popular streaming services in the world, but it didn’t start that way. In fact, it was initially created as an add-on service for Amazon Prime members, offering them access to a limited selection of movies and TV shows. However, over the years, Amazon Prime Video has evolved into a full-fledged streaming service with a vast library of content and original programming.
Amazon Prime Video was launched in 2006 as Amazon Unbox, a digital video rental and purchase service that allowed customers to buy or rent movies and TV shows online. The service was initially available only in the United States and was compatible with Windows PC and TiVo DVR devices. In 2008, Amazon launched the service on Roku streaming players and a year later on the Xbox 360.
In 2011, Amazon rebranded the service as Amazon Instant Video and introduced a subscription service called Amazon Prime, which offered free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases and access to a limited selection of movies and TV shows on Amazon Instant Video. At the time, the service was only available in the United States and cost $79 per year.
In 2015, Amazon rebranded the service again, this time as Amazon Prime Video, and began to expand its library of original programming with shows like “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” Amazon also expanded the service globally, launching it in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.
In 2016, Amazon added a standalone subscription option for Prime Video, allowing customers to subscribe to the service without having to pay for a Prime membership. Amazon also began to invest heavily in original programming, with shows like “The Man in the High Castle,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “Jack Ryan.”
Today, Amazon Prime Video is available in over 200 countries and territories and has a vast library of content, including movies, TV shows, and original programming. The service has also won several awards, including multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
In conclusion, Amazon Prime Video started as a digital rental and purchase service and has evolved into a full-fledged streaming service with a vast library of content and original programming. With its global availability and investment in original programming, Amazon Prime Video has become a major player in the streaming industry, offering viewers a wide range of entertainment options.