Amazon believes a single platform for multiple video streamers gives customers the convenience of not having to toggle between apps and managing multiple payment cycles.
Amazon has turned OTT distributor in India, with the launch of ‘Prime Video Channels’. The existence of the platform now means Amazon has a video content marketplace for Prime members, beaming content from eight OTT players: Lionsgate Play, Discovery Plus, DocuBay, Eros Now, MUBI, Shorts TV, Hoichoi and Manorama Max.
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These names in the OTT space now get access to Amazon Prime’s customer base. Amazon believes a single platform for multiple video streamers gives customers the convenience of not having to toggle between apps and managing multiple payment cycles.
“What we are creating is a marketplace for entertainment video content, where customers can watch several services on Prime Video itself,” said Gaurav Gandhi, Country Manager (India), Amazon Prime Video, speaking to CNBC-TV18. “The pain point we solve is to have a unified discovery of content that customers can now embark on, using their Prime membership and login, and obtain this as an add-on,” he explained.
India now becomes the latest market for Prime Video Channels, which is a tried-and-tested model across 11 other countries. Amazon has so far struck partnerships with 350 OTT partners, globally, to get on board Prime Video Channels. Only eight names, however, are on the platform in India.
“We’re happy to keep engaging with many services and are confident that we will increase selection for our customers,” said Gandhi, adding, “Six of our eight partners in India have worked with us outside India as well, and the fact that they’ve chosen to launch here is that they realise the value we bring with this proposition.”
With the launch, an additional 10,000 additional titles will be available to Prime members, according to Amazon. Rates of individual streaming services vary from Rs 299/year as in the case of Discovery Plus, to Rs 1,999/ year (MUBI). Amazon has confirmed that its partners have introductory offers to those subscribing to Prime Video Channels, and that customers will not be bound to bouquets or bundles while subscribing.
The launch of Prime Video Channels couldn’t possibly come at a better time, given the growth displayed by Prime Video, pan-India.
Three-fold growth in two years for Amazon Prime Video
“In three to five years’ time, there will be as many people streaming video as there will be those watching TV,” said Gandhi. “In the last two years we have grown three times in terms of viewing hours in India. The country is among the fastest growing marketplaces for not just watching video content but subscribing to content thereby choosing to pay for it," he added.
Amazon Prime Video has made headlines for critically acclaimed original content in India, with titles like Paatal Lok, Mirzapur, Family Man and Mumbai Diaries doing well on the platform. The company claims that a large chunk of its regional content is being watched by audiences outside target regions.
“In the last year and half, we’ve launched a lot regional language cinema, and have noticed that movies in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada have seen 50 percent of audience base watching from outside their home state,” said Gandhi. “There is a great demand for content that was unfulfilled in the past because of distribution barriers but that is now being tapped into.”
First Published: Sept 24, 2021 11:44 AM IST
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