India’s growing mobile video consumption has drawn massive interest of international streaming service providers like Amazon and Netflix. Both the companies have already begun their India foray, and are now looking to expand their presence in the country. The expansion, however, will be driven a hefty investment — Rs 2,000 crore, if a Livemint report is to be believed.
The report, however, does not give a clear picture on how the money will be utilized to expand the services. According to the report, the two companies are focusing on original content. “On the originals front, we are focused on finding great Indian stories—not just for Indians, but for the world. Sacred Games is our first announced Indian original series, and partnering with a top studio like Phantom Films speaks of the kind of quality we are looking at,” Netflix is quoted as saying.
Netflix has content partnership with Red Chillies Entertainment and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. Besides optimizing the platform for India’s inconsistent network speeds, the company has also partnered with India’s leading telecom carriers and DTH (direct-to-home) service providers — Airtel Digital TV, Videocon d2h and Vodafone — that will give viewers access to Netflix content even without a smart TV or a Google Chromecast. Amazon, on the other hand, has partnered with Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, T-Series, Shree Venkatesh Films, Everest Entertainment among others. ALSO READ: Amazon Prime Video: 7 things you should know
“We believe that original content in partnership with top and passionate filmmakers, talent and writers and the availability of latest and exclusive movies and TV shows from top Indian, US and international studios/production houses will result in a larger base of customers,” Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head of Amazon Prime Video India is quoted as saying. ALSO READ: India loves binge watching the most, and Netflix is taking note
“Having met both, I can vouch for the fact that both are sold on the India story,” Livemint quotes Apoorva Mehta, chief executive at Dharma Productions, as saying. “They are both equally aggressive when it comes to content. Both want to address the huge content gap that exists between Narcos (a popular Netflix original) and Naagin (a soap on Colors TV),” added Mehta.
According to the publication, Amazon Prime Video has over 9 million active subscribers since its launch in December last year despite being a late entrant. Netflix, on the other hand, reportedly has 4.2 million subscribers in over a year since its launch in the country. Though the two service providers more or less match in terms of content, the key difference is the pricing strategy. While Amazon Prime Video paid subscription starts at Rs 499 per annum, Netflix’s is Rs 500 per month. ALSO READ: Piracy still rules despite growing popularity of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar streaming services
With massive investments, Amazon and Netflix will be giving a hard time to local players like Hostar and Yupp TV among others. Amazon is most likely to replicate its e-commerce model wherein it has pumped in huge money along with the aggressive brand building.