Amazon Expands Prime Video in India

Having launched its Prime Video at a lower price than Netflix, Amazon India is now consolidating partnerships to expand its user base in the country. It recently partnered with Vodafone, which, after its merger with Idea Cellular in a $23 million deal, is the biggest telecom company in the country with a customer base of 400 million. Amazon aims to penetrate this user base and also build a competitive edge against Reliance Jio and other Indian service providers that are offering streaming services on mobile phones.

Forbes reports that Amazon India is focusing on local content and targeting smartphone video consumers in India. Mint claims that India is expected to have 650 million internet users by 2020, making it a huge market for video-on-demand consumption.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s strategy of partnering with a telecom operator that can provide 4G services on mobile phones will likely work since the majority of India’s population is not likely to invest in a fast landline broadband connection to view content on large screens.

 

March 20, 2017   No Comments

Amazon Video Ramps Local Indian Content

Amazon has signed a deal for 14 stand-up comedy specials in India which will feature some of India’s top comedians. The hour long specials, made in partnership with the country’s entertainment firm Only Much Louder, will begin streaming in May and will be available to viewers in India and also worldwide across 200 countries, says The Hollywood Reporter.

“We want to change the way customers consume entertainment by bringing this fantastic collection by OML’s best comedy talent to Prime members exclusively and on-demand,” Amazon Prime Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani said in a statement.

Amazon Prime Video

In related news, Variety reports that Amazon has also struck a content deal with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation, which has agreed to license some 600 hours of library content covering factual and pre-school programming to Amazon Prime Video service in India.

“In the last year or so, we have seen digital consumption in India increase exponentially,” Myleeta Aga, senior vice president and general manager of India, BBC Worldwide, said in a statement.

January 24, 2017   No Comments

China’s Nubia to Expand Smartphone Operations in India

Over the next five years, China‘s smartphone maker Nubia will invest $100 million in India in mobile technology startups and to forge partnerships with local content creators as part of its strategy to build an ecosystem around its products in India.  It also plans to start production in India soon.

India is our first priority, and we count it among our top three markets. We want to be the No. 1 online brand in India – it’s our major target,” Mai Donghai, senior vice-president of Nubia, told the Economic Times. “The timing is right as well, considering the network transformation and adoption of 4G.” Mai added that Nubai plans to open its R&D center in India for deeper software customization and that it may acquire design firms in India to support local R&D.

Nubia Smartphone

Currently, Nubia’s focus is only on the online channel for its sales, and it is working with Amazon for this purpose. Going forward, it will launch its own e-commerce portal to sell devices in India, and it will set up experience stores.

 

January 2, 2017   No Comments

Amazon Video and Netflix Vie for India Market

With 460 million Internet users, India is a huge market that is driven by a strong demand for viewing locally generated content. According to KPMG India, U.S. and western programming commands a 0.5 percent viewership share on Indian television, compared to over 60 percent for domestic entertainment. Likewise, Hollywood and foreign films manage a less than 10 percent share at the box office, though this pie is showing signs of gradual growth. India is a market where local content rules.

Amazon upped the ante by offering its Prime Video at an introductory annual subscription of $7.50, at par with Netflix’s basic monthly fees, and similar to Netflix, Prime Video is offered for a free 30-day trial to new subscribers. It is also available free to Amazon’s existing Prime shopping service subscribers. This pricing takes on various other competitors such as ErosNow, owned by film major Eros International, which charges between 75 cents-$1.50 per month and Hotstar, from Fox’s Star India network, which charges about $3 per month for its premium service, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Bollywood Posters

Price is one factor to be considered, for sure. However, the actual competition exists in content creation, which according to Mumbai-based entertainment industry analyst Jehil Thakkar “is going to be the real differentiator between all OTT [over-the-top content which is the delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content] platforms.”

Netflix has so far announced its first Indian original, Sacred Games, which will be produced by Phantom Films, co-founded by film-maker Anurag Kashyap. Phantom has also been signed by Amazon to produce two shows, Stardust and The Family Man. Bollywood banner Excel Entertainment is producing three Amazon shows: Mirzapur, Powerplay and Made in Heaven. Amazon’s recent pacts include new titles from Dharma Productions, Vishesh Films and T-Series, among others.

Netflix initially acquired some Indian arthouse films and a few Bollywood and regional language fare. It recently announced a coup — a licensing pact with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan‘s banner Red Chillies Entertainment, giving it global rights to its recent Dear Zindagi and titles such as Happy New Year and Om Shanti Om.

December 17, 2016   No Comments

Amazon Brings its Startup Program to India

Amazon brings its global startup program Launchpad to India. The India Launchpad portal has products from over 400 startups, of whom 25 are India-based. The company has partnered with trade body Nasscom, the Government of Maharashtra, the Indian Angels network, and venture capitalists to help startups on policy and financial requirements.

amazon-launchpad-logo

Mashable spoke to some of the partnered startups who said that they sell products through other channels as well, but were heavily relying on Amazon for exposure and marketing. A representative with Amazon India emphasized that they expect to see plenty of more startups join the platform in the coming days. 

December 14, 2016   No Comments