Bengaluru: Amazon India has inked a long-term content alliance with Tamil Nadu-based film production company V Creations, at a time when the world’s largest online retailer is gearing up for a full-fledged launch of its online television service, Prime Video India, in a country that is easily one of the world’s biggest markets for entertainment content.
With this partnership with producer Kalaipuli S. Thanu’s company, Amazon said Prime Video India would have exclusive subscription streaming rights for two of Tamil Nadu’s highest grossing films—the Rajnikanth-starrer Kabali and Theri, a crime drama released earlier in 2016.
“Kalaipuli S. Thanu is one of the most successful producers in the Tamil film industry and we are thrilled to partner with him. Southern cinema and star-driven Tamil films have emerged as among the most successful Indian content in the last decade, finding both national reach and viewers. A large number of Thanu’s films have been commercial blockbusters, of which two are among the top-ten highest grossing Tamil films of all time. We are certain that our Prime members will love the inclusion of these smashing titles in our selection within a few weeks from their theatrical release,” said Nitesh Kripalani, country head for Amazon Prime Video India.
As Amazon builds its Prime portfolio in India, focusing on the two most popular content categories in the country (Bollywood and sports), it will compete with popular streaming platform Netflix and Star India’s digital platform Hotstar.
In a recent interview, Amazon India chief Amit Agarwal said that since the launch of Prime in India, it had become Amazon’s highest selling product in the country.
“Prime continued to be the top seller in all of October, not just for wave one (of the Great Indian Festival sale). Prime membership continues to be a top seller and it is going to be so going forward every month. My belief is that Prime membership will be the top seller every month based on the trends that we are seeing,” Agarwal said in an interview on 1 November.
In late July, Amazon India launched its global Prime membership programme, offering one-day and two-day delivery on thousands of products for a fixed price of Rs499 a year initially.
Entertainment apart, Amazon India also seems to be eyeing sport in line with its global strategy, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
With live sports, Amazon could offer something viewers can’t get from rivals such as Netflix, and erode the hold of traditional media companies on some of the most valuable TV fare.
Seattle-based Amazon already spends billions of dollars a year to offer TV shows and movies on demand and has been exploring the creation of a live online pay-TV service since late 2015.