After the announcement that the boys from Top Gear will be returning to our screens on Amazon, our Technology Editor Kevin Kelly, argues that this could help streaming become an ever increasing valid source of competition for traditional television.
Yesterday it was announced that Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond would be returning to our screens next year, but not on traditional television.
 
The former Top Gear hosts will front a new motoring show exclusively available on amazon Prime Video, the streaming video service from the online shopping giant.
 
This is a pretty big deal for online video streaming services, let alone Amazon. Top Gear was one of the biggest TV shows in the world, pulling in a huge global audience. 
 
The big reason for that was the hosts. Sure, the cars were nice, but the antics of Clarkson, May, and Hammond are what kept you entertained. 
 
The demise of the last roster of Top Gear hosts was premature, but only had the hosts to blame. We all know the whole Clarkson thing by now. With that in mind, Amazon’s deal to take them seems increasingly interesting.
 
Amazon has been way behind Netflix in the number of subscribers, but those numbers come with caveats. Netflix only streams video, that’s their business.
 
Amazon now does a hell of a lot, and its Prime subscriptions gives you a lot more than just video, such as music and free next day delivery.
 
Video was never a reason to get a Prime subscription. Now, with these popular chaps in tow, it just might be the best reason to get it.
 
Streaming video, with Netflix leading the charge, has made huge leaps into creating original content. Netflix has the wildly popular House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Bojack Horseman, while Amazon got huge acclaim for Transparent. 
 
So far though, the original content from streaming video services has been mostly serialised drama or documentaries. This is the first move into a factual show that will become dated a lot quicker than drama.
 
The last big streaming video news came from Marvel/Disney’s deal with Netflix to create a handful of new series exclusively, including Daredevil. Having Clarkson, May, and Hammond move online helps legitimise streaming as an even more valid source of competition for traditional television. 
 
A lot of people are going to wonder why they pay for a TV license fee when they also pay for Prime Video and Netflix.
 
It will be good to see these guys back on-screen, and hopefully, Clarkson behaves himself this time. Amazon has done a great deal here that no one expected, especially after all the rumours claiming that the boys would go with Netflix.
 
But, and it pains me to say this, Amazon Prime is not available in Ireland as of me writing this. So no new stuff from the lads for us. Oh well, at least we have Chris Evans on BBC’s new Top Gear, that’ll do, right?
 
Damn.