Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Amazon Prime Logo

Founded on 2 February 2004, Amazon Prime was initially spun off from online retailer as a service that allowed its customers to pay a annual fee for unlimited two-day shipping. As part of the service, Amazon offers a free eBook from its lending library each month and free video streaming of select older titles.

For the original Amazon Prime subscribers, all Star Trek: The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise episodes are currently available to stream for free. Original Series and Next Generation episodes are available in remastered high definition format. subscribers can watch both the original and remastered editions of The Original Series and the entirety of Voyager.

Amazon Prime Video logo

In an increasingly digital society the video streaming service quickly gained in importance to such a degree that it itself was spun off on 7 September 2007 from Amazon Prime as Amazon Prime Video, also referred to as Prime Video and Amazon Prime – somewhat unfortunately and confusingly in the latter case as the original distribution subscription service is still very much active under that moniker. Prime Video exclusively concentrated on the digital dissemination of video formats, both as the rental "Video-on-Demand" (VoD, the company actually shortly called Amazon Video on Demand at one point in time, the format initially also known as "Pay-per-view" – PPV) format as well as the retail digital download format.

Ever since Amazon launched its own television production company in 2010, Amazon Studios, with the science fiction series The Man in the High Castle (2015-) being one of its most notable original productions as of 2019, it has – regardless of whether or not Prime has secured streaming rights – featured motion picture and television productions on its .com main site before the release of any of the corresponding home media formats, thus essentially expanding it with IMDb-like characteristics. IMDb itself incidentally, was already in 1998 acquired by Amazon. [1] Another major science fiction series Prime had streaming rights for was SyFy's critically acclaimed The Expanse (2015-2018), which was cancelled by SyFy though after three seasons. On 26 May 2018 however, after a fan campaign to save the series – very similar to the one that saved The Original Series for its third season back in 1967/68 – , Amazon conglomerate owner and CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company had picked up the production and exclusive streaming rights for the series, now as an "Amazon exclusive". [2]

During its pre-production in 2016, Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video all vied for the rights to stream the Star Trek: Discovery series outside the home market, where the series was to be streamed by CBS All Access. The latter two companies' bids were not successful. [3] Nonetheless, the series became featured on the main website, open for customer review and commentary, thereby becoming the first Star Trek series to be featured on the site, long before any of the home media formats were released – the sale of which having been the traditional purview of the site. [4]

Prime customers can subscribe to CBS All Access, and others, through via the pages where the pre-home media release productions are featured.

On 13 May 2019, the news broke that Prime Video had acquired the international streaming rights for the Star Trek: Picard, which had started production the month previously, with each episode to be streamed 24 hours after its American premiere on CBS All Access. [5] [6] Lead actor Patrick Stewart confirmed the news the same day on his Twitter account. [7] The series' first teaser trailer carrying the Amazon Prime Video watermark, was released on 23 May 2019. [8]

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