Amazon Prime Video ties up with Salman Khan, in fight with Netflix
New Delhi: US-based streaming platform Amazon Prime Video on Monday announced a content deal with actor Salman Khan’s home production Salman Khan Ventures for his upcoming films.
The five-year deal with Khan’s production firm, has cost Amazon Prime Video, what its executives call a “small fortune”, but gives the streaming platform exclusive rights to all his upcoming films even before their television premiere. The tie-up reiterates that India is a priority market for Amazon.
According to an entertainment industry expert, typically, the digital rights of a Salman Khan starrer (along with the provision of the two-month holdback period before TV release), are estimated to be sold at Rs65 crore per film. The expert declined to be named.
James Farrell, head of content, Prime Video, Asia Pacific, said, “Salman is a huge star with a massive global fan following. This exclusive worldwide Prime Video streaming deal with him is one of the biggest star deals to have ever been done in the world. India is a top priority market for Amazon and we believe that this love India has for films, the passion, the energy and the talent of India needs to be on a worldwide stage for global audiences to see. ”
All films from Salman Khan Ventures released after Kabir Khan’s war drama Tubelight will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime first after their theatrical release and two months before television premier or any other form of distribution, the company said in a statement.
Tubelight is part of a Rs500 crore deal the actor has with broadcast network Star India which is valid till December 2017.
“Amazon Prime Video reaches over 200 countries and territories and I am happy to collaborate with Amazon Prime Video and expand the reach of Indian cinema. Fans of Indian cinema will discover my movies on a new platform and the platform will also help new fans discover our cinema,” Khan said in a statement.
Apart from the new releases, the deal gives Amazon Prime access to Khan’s existing blockbuster titles like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, action comedies Kick and Jai Ho and his home production Hero.
With the newly announced deal, the content war between Amazon Prime and Netflix in India has intensified. In December, Netflix had signed a deal with actor Shah Rukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies Entertainment for both his existing and upcoming titles.
Even though Amazon debuted in India much after Netflix, in the latest rankings by app analytics firm App Annie Inc., Amazon Prime Video is at No. 5 and Netflix at No. 9 on the basis of monthly active users for the first half of this year. Amazon’s lead in India is credited to its aggressive pricing. Amazon Prime Video’s unlimited ad-free, on-demand service comes for an annual subscription of Rs499. Netflix’s costs Rs500 for a single month.