Competing with around 30 OTT (over-the-top) original online video and entertainment distribution platforms including Amazon Prime and Hotstar, the world’s largest online tv network Netflix is having its tough days in India.
According to a global information company IHS Markit, Amazon Prime has received more eyeballs than Netflix in India, last year, reports TOI. Amazon Prime in its short run of one year has captured around 10% of the Indian market, says the report.
Having launched a number of India-exclusive content already, Amazon Prime had signed a number of popular Indian artists including R Madhavan, Richa Chaddha, AIB, and more.
“To clarify, these are Amazon Prime subscribers who actively use Prime Video as opposed to the total Prime subs. Initially, Amazon Prime was the same price per year ($7.75) as the lowest tier Netflix subscription cost per month ($7.75). Although this has now doubled to $15.52 (INR 999) per year for Amazon, it is still a significant discount, considering a service that offers more than just online video,” said an IHS spokesperson.
The biggest benefit that Amazon Prime subscribers hold is the fast delivery of Amazon products free-of-cost. In a combo offer, Amazon Prime Music has now announced bringing Venus Music’s catalogue of thousands of tracks to its Indian Prime members. Soon to be launched as a Prime benefit at no additional cost, Amazon Prime Music will also offer the 90s and 00s Indian music tracks.
However, Netflix, with its streaming services across 190 countries, continues to witness huge jumps across the globe due to a long line of its original content starring Brad Pitt to Will Smith. Last month, Netflix joined the $100 Bn club companies.
However, in India, where besides Amazon Prime and Netflix, almost all the other players offer freemium services including Hotstar, it will be tough for both Amazon Prime and Netflix to conquer the market by significant margins.
In India, the online video and entertainment platforms are getting extended with a number of players such as Eros Now, Viacom 18 Balaji Telefilms, TVF, or Scoopwhoop, Voot have their own platform as part of their ecosystem building strategy.
Last month, Times Internet also acquired a majority stake in Gangnam (Seoul) based MX Player for about $200 Mn, to help Times Internet to launch its over-the-top (OTT) video service.
In a recent development, as the online video TV market in India is growing, TRAI is now evaluating a consultation process to regulate online video streaming platforms.
In November 2017, India’s telecom regulator had stated that it will begin a separate consultation on regulating over-the-top (OTT) players like Whatsapp, Viber and Facebook to look into the costs and benefits of regulatory intervention in this sector, a move which was criticised by backers of net neutrality.
While Hotstar is offering extended services of Sports and News live along with other premium services at $3 (INR 199) monthly, it seems that the Amazon’s Prime fast delivery along with an averagely priced video and entertainment combo pack has enticed the price-sensitive Indian consumers. to have left other players behind.