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Business News/ Technology / App News/  Amazon Prime Video to invest in more Indian content as OTT competition continues

Amazon Prime Video to invest in more Indian content as OTT competition continues

India is among the fastest-growing markets for Amazon Prime Video globally
  • The introduction of mobile-only plan will help the brand further take on its rivals Netflix, Zee5, Disney Hotstar and others
  • Amazon Prime Video was launched in India in January 2017Premium
    Amazon Prime Video was launched in India in January 2017

    Amazon Prime Video recently unveiled a mobile-only pack for its users in India. A new report now suggests that India is among the fastest-growing markets for Amazon Prime Video (APV) globally. The video streaming platform will focus its investments on bringing more content and expanding the service to a larger audience in India

    The introduction of the mobile-only plan will help the brand further take on its rivals Netflix, Zee5, Disney Hotstar and others. Netflix also offers a mobile-only plan which is available in India.

    The mobile-plan has also opened a new door for users wanting to buy Amazon Prime Video subscription without the other benefits of Prime membership. The company partnership with Airtel will help prepaid users of the telecom major to watch APV content as a standalone offering.

    In a report by PTI, Amazon Prime Video India Director and Country General Manager Gaurav Gandhi said, "We've been in the country for the last four years and growing very steadily...APV is watched in over 4,300 cities and towns in the country, and India is amongst the fastest growing markets for Prime and APV. Our investments in content across 10 languages, both originals and films, have helped us."

    He added that as more customers opt to watch content online, there would be as many people watching video online as those watching television over the next three to four years.

    Gandhi said APV has been investing deeply across Indian language films and shows. He cited examples of shows like 'Four More Shots Please', 'Paatal Lok', 'Bandish Bandits' and 'Breathe' introduced last year, followed by films like 'Shakuntala Devi', 'Gulabo Sitabo' or 'Coolie No. 1' in the later half of the year.

    APV also added content in other Indian languages including CU Soon (Malayalam), V (Telugu), Soorarai Pottru (Tamil), AB Aani CD (Marathi), Ponmagal Vandhal (Tamil), Law (Kannada), Comicstaan Semma Comedy Pa (Tamil original series) and Putham Pudhu Kaalai (Tamil anthology of five films).

    "As we get into early 2021, we already have our first big original for the year with Tandav. So we have a constant drumbeat of content, not just in Hindi but across languages, which continues to get us new customers and engage our existing customers," he added.

    Gandhi claimed that there is a very strong demand for international shows as well in India, and Indian shows find audience in global markets.

    "Our Indian shows are consumed around the world, one in five customers of our Indian originals is outside India. Our international shows get coverage - with the dubs and subs - right across the country. So, we really pride ourselves about the fact that we're able to offer all that kind of selection and we continue to invest behind on both sides of it," he said.

    Gandhi said APV has over 30 shows in production and over 50 in development, and it continues to bring in movies across languages on the platform within weeks of theatrical release.

    "We really feel very good about our content investments as well as marketing, and we deeply invested on our product to make it local. You can add the UI as a local language, we are available on almost every device possible, we have partnerships with telcos and TV distributors...So we feel pretty good about our lineup, our investments and our growth going forward," he said.

    Despite a substantial rise in OTT content viewership during the lockdown and social distancing era, Gandhi believes that there will be no drop in viewership even after the pandemic improves.

    "I think that the behaviour change of people coming online and experiencing premium content is not transitory, it's for good. Once you get used to watching content online at a time, place and device of your choice and you access the high quality, premium cinematic value content or early window films, then you don't usually say I do not want to watch more online videos. I think the shift to to experience online video is more permanent," he explained.

    He added that APV continues to see big customer acquisitions and high engagement on the platform.

    "There is so much headroom for growth overall in this industry and we are all just getting started because customers are watching more and more videos online," he added.

    On the issue of content regulation on OTT platforms, Gandhi said: "I think the key aspect there is about finding the right balance between what the customer chooses to watch, what our creators can create and what are the laws of the land are, and we are very focused on that finding that balance right across."

    "We've always done that and we will continue to do that as we move forward," he added.

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    Updated: 17 Jan 2021, 04:57 PM IST
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