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Amazon Prime Video hits SA

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Amazon today announced that Amazon Prime Video is now available to customers in more than 200 countries including South Africa.

Customers around the world can now enjoy popular new original series like The Grand Tour from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May (currently the top-rated TV show on IMDb with an overall rating of 9.4 and over 20,000 votes) and award-winning Amazon Original Series like The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Tumble Leaf and more. Customers can sign up for a Prime Video membership at PrimeVideo.com and watch on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Fire Tablets and popular LG and Samsung smart TVs. Amazon Prime members in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain can start watching today at no additional cost to their Prime membership. Customers in the other new Prime Video territories can sign up at an introductory price of $2.99 (or €2.99) per month for the first six months, starting with a free 7-day trial at PrimeVideo.com.

“We are excited to announce that starting today, fans around the world have access to Prime Video,” said Tim Leslie, Vice President, International, Prime Video. “The Grand Tour and other critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series like Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, and The Man in the High Castle, along with hundreds of popular Hollywood movies and TV shows, are now available at the introductory price of only 2.99 a month. And what’s really exciting is that we are just getting started.”

What to Watch
Amazon Prime Video members around the world can now enjoy The Grand Tour, the biggest show premiere ever on Prime Video, multi Golden Globe, Emmy, and BAFTA Award-winning Transparent, the multi Golden Globe Award-winning series Mozart in the Jungle and one of the most-streamed Amazon Original Series ever by Amazon Prime members globally, The Man in the High Castle. Most Amazon Original Kids Series are also available, including the animated art-adventure Creative Galaxy, the live-action coming-of-age tale of friendship, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, and the multi Emmy Award-winning animated series, Tumble Leaf and moreAdditional Amazon Original Series like Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, David E. Kelley’s Goliath featuring Billy Bob Thornton, the docuseries American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, as well as Sneaky Pete produced by Bryan Cranston and Graham Yost, and starring Giovanni Ribisi, will be added to the service next year. Prime Video members can also watch hundreds of popular movies and TV shows from top networks and Hollywood studios.

How to Watch

Members can watch Amazon Prime Video in English, with French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish subtitled and dubbed versions also available for many titles. Members can watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Prime Video app on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Fire Tablets, popular LG and Samsung Smart TVs or online at PrimeVideo.com. Members can also download all movies and TV shows for offline viewing—that means watching on a plane, train, anywhere at no additional cost.

Prime Video members can also control how much data they use when streaming and downloading video by choosing between Good, Better and Best visual quality settings, all of which utilize Amazon Prime Video’s state of the art video compression technology to use less data without reducing visual quality. Amazon Prime Video’s automated and machine learning systems will also select the best streaming configurations for a given customer based on their device, location and Internet Service Provider, providing better visual quality and fewer interruptions even when internet connection speeds are slow or highly variable.

Price
Amazon Prime Video is now available at no additional cost to Amazon Prime in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain and to customers in new Prime Video territories for $2.99 USD (or €2.99) per month for the first six months—a 50 percent discount off the full price of $5.99 (or €5.99) per month. Visit PrimeVideo.com to start a free 7-day trial.

Amazon Prime Video is now available in the following countries and territories. For more information visit PrimeVideo.com.

Country / Territory Price
Afghanistan $ 2.99
Aland Islands € 2.99
Albania € 2.99
Algeria $ 2.99
American Samoa Included with Prime
Andorra € 2.99
Angola $ 2.99
Anguilla € 2.99
Antarctica $ 2.99
Antigua & Barbuda $ 2.99
Argentina $ 2.99
Armenia € 2.99
Aruba € 2.99
Australia $ 2.99
Austria Included with Prime
Azerbaijan € 2.99
Bahamas $ 2.99
Bahrain $ 2.99
Bangladesh $ 2.99
Barbados $ 2.99
Belarus € 2.99
Belgium Included with Prime
Belize $ 2.99
Benin $ 2.99
Bermuda € 2.99
Bhutan $ 2.99
Bolivia $ 2.99
Bosnia and Herzegovina € 2.99
Botswana $ 2.99
Bouvet Island € 2.99
Brazil $ 2.99
British Indian Ocean Territory € 2.99
British Virgin Islands € 2.99
Brunei Darussalam $ 2.99
Bulgaria € 2.99
Burkina Faso $ 2.99
Burundi $ 2.99
Cambodia $ 2.99
Cameroon $ 2.99
Canada Included with Prime
Cape Verde $ 2.99
Cayman Islands € 2.99
Central African Republic $ 2.99
Chad $ 2.99
Chile $ 2.99
Christmas Island $ 2.99
Cocos (Keeling) Islands $ 2.99
Colombia $ 2.99
Comoros € 2.99
Congo $ 2.99
Congo, Democratic Republic $ 2.99
Cook Islands $ 2.99
Costa Rica $ 2.99
Cote D’Ivoire $ 2.99
Croatia € 2.99
Curacao € 2.99
Cyprus € 2.99
Czech Republic € 2.99
Denmark € 2.99
Djibouti $ 2.99
Dominica $ 2.99
Dominican Republic $ 2.99
Ecuador $ 2.99
Egypt $ 2.99
El Salvador $ 2.99
Equatorial Guinea $ 2.99
Eritrea $ 2.99
Estonia € 2.99
Ethiopia $ 2.99
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) € 2.99
Faroe Islands € 2.99
Fiji $ 2.99
Finland € 2.99
France Included with Prime
French Guiana € 2.99
French Polynesia € 2.99
French Southern Territories € 2.99
French West Indies – Guadeloupe € 2.99
French West Indies – Martinique € 2.99
Gabon $ 2.99
Gambia $ 2.99
Georgia € 2.99
Germany Included with Prime
Ghana $ 2.99
Gibraltar € 2.99
Greece € 2.99
Greenland € 2.99
Grenada $ 2.99
Guam Included with Prime
Guatemala $ 2.99
Guernsey Included with Prime
Guinea $ 2.99
Guinea-Bissau $ 2.99
Guyana $ 2.99
Haiti $ 2.99
Heard Island and McDonald Island $ 2.99
Honduras $ 2.99
Hong Kong $ 2.99
Hungary € 2.99
Iceland € 2.99
India Included with Prime
Indonesia $ 2.99
Iraq $ 2.99
Ireland € 2.99
Isle of Man Included with Prime
Israel $ 2.99
Italy Included with Prime
Jamaica $ 2.99
Japan Included with Prime
Jersey Included with Prime
Jordan $ 2.99
Kazakhstan $ 2.99
Kenya $ 2.99
Kiribati $ 2.99
Kosovo € 2.99
Kuwait $ 2.99
Kyrgyzstan $ 2.99
Lao People’s Democratic Republic $ 2.99
Latvia € 2.99
Lebanon $ 2.99
Lesotho $ 2.99
Liberia $ 2.99
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya $ 2.99
Liechtenstein € 2.99
Lithuania € 2.99
Luxembourg € 2.99
Macao $ 2.99
Macedonia € 2.99
Madagascar $ 2.99
Malawi $ 2.99
Malaysia $ 2.99
Maldives $ 2.99
Mali $ 2.99
Malta € 2.99
Mariana Islands Included with Prime
Marshall Islands $ 2.99
Mauritania $ 2.99
Mauritius $ 2.99
Mayotte € 2.99
Mexico $ 2.99
Micronesia $ 2.99
Moldova € 2.99
Monaco € 2.99
Mongolia $ 2.99
Montenegro € 2.99
Montserrat € 2.99
Morocco $ 2.99
Mozambique $ 2.99
Myanmar $ 2.99
Namibia $ 2.99
Nauru $ 2.99
Nepal $ 2.99
Netherlands € 2.99
New Caledonia € 2.99
New Zealand $ 2.99
Nicaragua $ 2.99
Niger $ 2.99
Nigeria $ 2.99
Niue $ 2.99
Norfolk Island $ 2.99
Norway € 2.99
Oman $ 2.99
Pakistan $ 2.99
Palau $ 2.99
Palestinian Territories $ 2.99
Panama $ 2.99
Papua New Guinea $ 2.99
Paraguay $ 2.99
Peru $ 2.99
Philippines $ 2.99
Pitcairn $ 2.99
Poland € 2.99
Portugal € 2.99
Puerto Rico Included with Prime
Qatar $ 2.99
Reunion € 2.99
Romania € 2.99
Russia € 2.99
Rwanda $ 2.99
Saint Helena $ 2.99
Saint Kitts and Nevis € 2.99
Saint Lucia € 2.99
Saint Pierre and Miquelon € 2.99
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines € 2.99
Samoa $ 2.99
San Marino € 2.99
Sao Tome and Principe $ 2.99
Saudi Arabia $ 2.99
Senegal $ 2.99
Serbia € 2.99
Seychelles $ 2.99
Sierra Leone $ 2.99
Singapore $ 2.99
Slovakia € 2.99
Slovenia € 2.99
Solomon Islands $ 2.99
Somalia $ 2.99
South Africa $ 2.99
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands € 2.99
South Korea $ 2.99
South Sudan $ 2.99
Spain Included with Prime
Sri Lanka $ 2.99
St. Barthelemy € 2.99
St. Martin € 2.99
Suriname $ 2.99
Svalbard and Jan Mayen € 2.99
Swaziland $ 2.99
Sweden € 2.99
Switzerland € 2.99
Taiwan $ 2.99
Tajikistan $ 2.99
Tanzania $ 2.99
Thailand $ 2.99
Timor-Leste $ 2.99
Togo $ 2.99
Tokelau $ 2.99
Tonga $ 2.99
Trinidad & Tobago $ 2.99
Tunisia $ 2.99
Turkey € 2.99
Turkmenistan $ 2.99
Turks & Caicos € 2.99
Tuvalu $ 2.99
Uganda $ 2.99
Ukraine € 2.99
United Arab Emirates $ 2.99
United Kingdom Included with Prime
United States Included with Prime
United States Minor Outlying Islands $ 2.99
Uruguay $ 2.99
US Virgin Islands Included with Prime
Uzbekistan $ 2.99
Vanuatu $ 2.99
Vatican City € 2.99
Venezuela $ 2.99
Vietnam $ 2.99
Wallis and Futuna € 2.99
Western Sahara $ 2.99
Yemen $ 2.99
Zambia $ 2.99
Zimbabwe $ 2.99

Arts and Entertainment

SA rises as Spotify turns 10

October 2018 marks 10 years since Spotify officially launched its music streaming platform and to celebrate this milestone, Spotify has taken a look at some of its biggest discoveries in music.

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Spotify provided the following information:

The service only launched in South Africa in March this year, so this country is not included in the retrospective, but Spotify supplied Gadget with the following local streaming landmarks:

·         Most streamed South African artist – Jeremy Loops

·         Most streamed female South African artist – Shekhinah

·         Highest first-day streaming record – AKA’s Beyonce

Since launch Spotify now sits at 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries. These Spotify users can enjoy a music library of over 40 million songs and podcasts, and over 3 billion-plus user-created playlists. As of 31 August 2018, Spotify has also paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch.

To date, over 2 000 genres of music have been identified on Spotify, among them Wonky (electronic music characterised by synths with unusual time signatures), Shimmer Pop (a Swedish cousin of indie pop and indietronica), and British Blues (the blues…with a British flavour).

Spotify has also done an assessment of “listening diversity,” – the number of artists the average user streams per month – which has risen on Spotify over the past 10 years, at an average of about 8% per year. In the past three years alone, listening diversity increased about 40% on the strength of new personalised and editorial playlists – meaning people are listening to an increased number of artists on a regular basis.

An official Decade of Discovery playlist features the most-streamed songs over the past  decade, including favourites like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” Rihanna’s “Work,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” and the star-studded “Despacito Remix”.

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Festival taps into source code of African identity

The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival enters its final week from 24 to 29 September with a special focus on gaming and beats. With the theme of “Tap Your Afro Source Code”, this year celebrates technology, creativity and innovation from across the African continent.

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Dr Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival director, says that the theme centres on African visions of technology by tapping into the sources of African tradition and culture alongside technology, creativity and innovation: “This year we are exploring how local culture can move and change the future of technology. How would you understand and unpack the source code of your African identity?”

In its final week, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival explores music culture via the annual Beats Programme curated by WeHeartBeat, which will descend on the Tshimologong Precinct with a six-day takeover of Braamfontein’s tech hub. The program comprising of workshops, experiences and performances, facilitates the meeting of mind and spirit in an environment geared around the festival’s theme, “Tap Your Afro Source Code”.

The Fak’ugesi Beats Lab, running from the 24th to the 28th of September will host international electronic artists and explore the connection between music, technology and culture with local and international artists. The outcome from these sessions will result in an EP release, a short documentary and a live showcase performance at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on the 29th. The artists featured in the 2018 Beats Lab are S.Fidelity (Switzerland), Zikomo (USA), Morena Leraba (Lesotho) and South African artists Bonj Mpanza  and Hlasko.

In partnership with Ballantines Whisky and Business Arts South Africa, the programme includes panels on: ‘The Future of Music’ facilitated by Tefo Mohapi from iAfrikan.com and featuring guest panellists Riky Rick and Thibaut Mullings; ‘Managing Health Amongst Creatives’ featuring psychologist Thembi Mashigo and panel guests Ayanda Seoka, Mx Blouse and more. The day will include a Masterclass with Black Milk (USA), The Art of Remixing with Zikomo(USA) and close with a ‘Power of Collaborations’ session featuring Zikomo, S.Fidelity , Morena Leraba and Bonj Mpanza.

The last week of Fak’ugesi Festival also hosts a special session on the Future of African Gaming on the 28th and 29th of September. A full day on gaming, this will take place in collaboration with Red Bull Basement and focus on the theme of Tech for Good. The programme includes an Indie Games Arcade; a ‘Games for Good’ workshop focused games that address issues in South African urban environment.

The workshop will be followed by a “Futures and Networking” session, inviting the gaming community in the Southern Africa region to contribute to an understanding of what and how the Fak’ugesi Festival can develop and better support African games. This invitation comes after Fak’ugesi Festival in 2018 says farewell to A MAZE. / Johannesburg, which has supported its program since 2013 as the gaming partner.

A MAZE, under the leadership of its creative director, Thorsten S. Wiedemann, linked the Johannesburg gaming scene to an international network of indie developers for six years from 2012 until 2017. The two-way bridge between A MAZE. / Berlin and A MAZE. / Johannesburg inspired other projects like Super Friendship Arcade in Cape Town and Glitch Face in Johannesburg and was a huge impetus in the development of the Game Design programme in the Wits School of Arts. When the Fak’ugesi Festival was established in 2013, A MAZE fell under Fak’ugesi Festival support as the gaming partner. Weidemann added: “It’s been amazing meeting, working and learning from the local and national game and playful media community.  We definitely made history together.”

The week’s activities culminate in a celebration at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party   on Saturday 29 September. This event will reignite the energy and spirit created at the inaugural party in a union of performance, music, technology and digital innovation. The Bloc Party aims to showcase the best in underground talent, both local and international – etching its name in the cultural textbooks as an inspiration to future generations of creators, producers and innovators. The second instalment of this ground-breaking event will host performances from the Beats Lab participants, as well as Black Milk and a strong local contingent including Langa Mavuso, Mx Blouse, Symatics + Ramz, and Micr.Pluto.

Tickets for Thursday 27 September are R50 per session and can be purchased via WeHeartBeat. There will be a limited run of R200 student tickets available for Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party, upon presentation of a valid student ID. Workshop and student tickets can be purchased throughout the week at the reception of the Tshimologong Precinct.

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