New Delhi: In a bid to increase its consumer base, American streaming service Amazon Prime Video has launched a Hindi user interface. The move, the company said, will bring in the next 100 million customers to Prime membership from India. Amazon currently offers content in six Indian languages -- Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Kannada.

The new user interface will include search, navigation and customer options in Hindi on the Prime Video app and on the service’s website. Prime users will be able to navigate, manage their account information, payments, add to their watch-list, and receive customer support in Hindi. In addition, a major selection of Prime Video’s content will now be available with Hindi show descriptions and Hindi dubbing and subtitles. This means viewers will now get to watch everything from Hollywood blockbusters like Justice League, Baywatch and Passengers with dubbing in Hindi to Bollywood hits like Padmaavat and Raazi and Amazon originals like Inside Edge and the upcoming Mirzapur with titles and content description in Hindi.

“As Prime Video’s customer base expands across India, we believe it becomes important to not just offer content in local languages, but to also give customers the option to access the Prime Video app and website in their language of choice," said Gaurav Gandhi, director and head, business, Amazon Prime Video India, in a statement. Gandhi added that the company will continue to invest in localization initiatives, adding more titles with Hindi subtitles or dubbing, and evolving the product experience to allow viewers to watch movies and TV shows on the device and in the language of their choice.

“Our efforts of localization will continue with a Tamil and Telugu user interface for customers which we will offer very soon," Gandhi said.

To be sure, Amazon’s localization initiatives are steeped in the changing nature of the Indian market. According to the Ficci-EY media and entertainment industry report 2018, growth in India’s Internet user base till 2021 will be driven by rural consumers who are expected to grow from 38% to 52%. This will have a significant impact on the type and language of content that will need to be developed, as well as changes to marketing, distribution and pricing strategies. At present, while Amazon’s major rival

Netflix continues to position itself as a premium product with high pricing, local Indian players like Hotstar and Zee5 are targeting the mass market. Amazon, industry experts say, is somewhere in between, exploring the mass market but not just for its video vertical but for the e-commerce play as a whole. In fact, the company gets greater numbers for its e-commerce business from tier-two cities.

“This is essentially a continuation of the same strategy that speaks to an audience shifting away from major cities and English-speaking markets," said Girish Menon, partner and head, media & entertainment, KPMG referring to Amazon’s new Hindi interface.

“The best way to engage this audience is through mass-based and non-English content. While the infrastructure for the same is available with telcos deepening their user base, access to the content is a problem with more interfaces being in English," Menon said.

Close