The Grand Tour might not be streaming in Australia for at least two weeks, but you can stream any other Amazon series you’d like, (apparently) entirely legally. How do I know? I’m watching an Amazon exclusive series on Amazon Prime Video right now.
I’ve just had a tip-off from a Gizmodo reader that I’ve verified with my own testing. Despite Amazon staying entirely quiet on when or even if Prime will launch into Australia, it is available right now. You can sign up, you can browse through the catalogue, you can watch any show you see.
Update 5:00PM 18/11: Amazon has finally weighed in on this, saying that Amazon Prime has not launched in Australia: “We have not launched Amazon Prime in Australia. The service some Australians have signed-up for is the US or UK Prime Membership, which provides free, fast shipping within the US or UK, as well as access to some Amazon Originals, such as The Grand Tour, where we have the global rights.” Fact remains that you can still watch it right now, though.
Update: I’ve just seen this same story reported on EFTM.com.au, and I’ll happily admit that Trev over at EFTM beat me to the punch by a few minutes.
If you point your browser towards Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk right now, and click on one of the many advertisements for Prime membership, you’ll be able to sign up. You’ll have your credit card dinged for one US dollar as an authenticity check, and later on £7.99 per month or $US10.99 per month, and then you’ll be able to watch any Amazon Prime Video title on the service.
This was not previously the case in Australia, and this strongly suggests that Amazon is gearing up for an official launch of Amazon Prime Video, and other associated Amazon services — potentially including shopping — within Australia imminently.
For reference, I’m using an Amazon account with an Australian address and an Australian credit card attached to it, and I was able make the purchase of Amazon Prime without any geographic restrictions popping their heads up.
The Grand Tour is not available for streaming — it launches tomorrow, at least in officially Prime-sanctioned countries like the US and UK — but it’s possible to watch The Man In The High Castle and Transparent and other Amazon titles, streaming through Google Chrome on desktop.
On mobile (iOS in our testing, but apparently Android as well) you’ll be redirected whenever you start to watch a show to download the Amazon Prime Video app, which isn’t available yet in Australian mobile app stores. That means that for now, you’ll need a desktop PC or laptop to watch Amazon Prime Video. But we promise it’s available.
We’ve contacted Amazon for comment.