Amazon has taken yet another leap in upping its ante in the Indian market. After months of speculation, Amazon is set to announce the launch of its Prime Video service in India, reports ET. The Prime Video is an additional offering for Amazon’s Prime subscribers, including existing ones and allows users exclusive access to movies, Amazon’s original series as well as premium content from across the globe.
The launch is expected to happen in Mumbai later today and is expected to see attendance from Amazon senior executives including India country head Amit Agarwal, Amazon Prime Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani, Amazon Prime Video international VP Tim Lesley and head of content, Asia Pacific James Farrell. Also expected to attend are Bollywood filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Sujoy Ghosh and Pradeep Sarkar, along with the founders of comedy collective All India Bakchod.
Prime subscription in India is available at an introductory price of $7.4(INR499) for a year as compared to US where it costs $99(INR6,682). The video service is expected to be available at no extra cost. Meanwhile rival Netflix, which launched Indian operations this January, offers its lowest pack at $7.4(INR500) per month.
Amazon had launched its Prime subscription service in India in July, and its video service launch was expected to follow soon. Earlier, it was reported that Amazon will be investing about $300 Mn for the original Prime video content in India.
Towards this, Amazon has been busy signing content deals with Indian content creators to have localised content ranging from Bollywood movies to original web series and kids content. As per ET, it has signed content deals with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Mukesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films, and Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series for their entire existing and upcoming films. Others include Green Gold and Japan-based TV Asahi Corporation) for kids’ content, and Tamil Nadu’s V Creations for its superhit films including Kabali and Theri.
This is where Amazon aims to score over Netflix which had launched without much of Indian content. Though in June, Netflix announced its first Indian original series, based on the critically-acclaimed best-selling novel Sacred Games by Indian author Vikram Chandra, yet it hardly seems a match for Amazon’s lineup of offering more mainstream Bollywood content.
Given the rise of 4G services in India, it is no wonder now that video on demand is a growing segment with many players like Hooq, Hotstar, Ogle, Big Flix, Eros Now, Ditto TV, Muvi, and Spuul in the space. Internet video traffic saw 46% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2014, up from 38% in 2013.
By 2019, video is expected to grow to 74% of all internet traffic in India. Digital media product consumption in this segment is currently pegged at $1.2 Bn (INR 8,000 Cr) and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.5% to reach $3.9 Bn (INR 25,500 Cr) by 2020 in India.
Besides giving formidable competition to Netflix, Prime Video is also expected to boost the Amazon Prime membership. This will further add to the worries of ecommerce leader Flipkart, whose co-founder Sachin Bansal has been crying nationalism and beseeching the Indian government to follow the Chinese way in designing policies which will favour homegrown companies and help them battle with foreign players, such as Amazon.
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