Lightbox Shuts Down Ahead of Amazon Prime NZ Launch

Okay, it’s a click-bait headline but the pending official launch of Amazon’s streaming service in NZ does raise questions about Lightbox’s access to original product on the eve of the Spark site closing overnight.

Lightbox’s library includes Amazon originals like Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.

Will it continue to stream these exclusively in this market or will the rights for future seasons be non-exclusive or non-existent?

“Lightbox continues to hold the exclusive New Zealand rights to Transparent seasons 1 – 3,” Lightbox CEO Kym Niblock said in a statement to ScreenScribe.

“Having just launched season three, it’s too early to comment on the rights to season four.”

The same is true of Mozart and other Amazon properties that Lightbox has streamed.

Lightbox isn’t the only platform for Amazon content in this market: Sky, for instance, picked up the 4K detective drama Bosch for SD transmission on The Box.

Amazon’s launch here at least explains why its other commissions, like One Mississippi, The Man in the High Castle, Goliath, The Last Tycoon and Crisis in Six Scenes, haven’t been picked up locally.

It will be interesting to see if the improvements to Lightbox’s platform will include upgrading its streaming quality to compete with Amazon and Netflix, which are increasingly offering content in 4K.

Overnight, from midnight to about 8am, Lightbox will be inaccessible as it undergoes a system upgrade.

Once completed, mobile subscribers will need to be on iOS8 or Android 4.3 or above to resume viewing. They will also have to download the latest app while Samsung Smart TV viewers may need to update the app and log in again (as may other Smart TV, PlayStation and website viewers).

Lightbox isn’t specifying what improvement the upgrade will deliver. But according to Niblock: “Technology upgrades are vital to futureproof the Lightbox platform and this upgrade will enable us to create new features that will benefit our customers in the future.

“We’ll let you and our customers know once these become available.”

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4 Responses to “Lightbox Shuts Down Ahead of Amazon Prime NZ Launch”

  1. It will be interesting to see what happens Philip, I wonder when Amazon will be making an official announcement about it? Hope I can watch it on my TV 🙂

  2. Maybe Lightbox is going to morph into Amazon next year?

  3. – Loss of key staff over the last year plus the departure of the Lightbox CEO at the end of the year.
    – shelving Lightbox Sports (instead of investing to grow audience)
    – giving the product away for free to “reduce churn and attract more broadband subscribers” [why not just give people broadband cheaper rather than spend $20m per annum on content to give away for free]

    Sounds like a business case that’s being put into run-off.I doubt Lightbox will get shut down but wouldnt be surprised if it disappeared quietly over time

  4. Which will shut down first – Lightbox or TV3? lol

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