Premium streaming services such as Netflix, Hotstar and the newly launched Amazon Prime Video probably love me, because I m the kind of person they want everyone to turn into. I ditched my set-top box two years ago and switched entirely to web-based content. Although the early days had me depending heavily on pirated content, I m proud to say I haven t pirated anything in the last few months. This is because of the availability of everything I want to watch on online streaming services, and I m quite happy to pay for my content, as long as I m getting quality content on time. I consider myself a perfect example to make a case for what needs to be done to combat piracy in the television and movie production industries. Also Read - Amazon Prime Day sale deals revealed: Discount on OnePlus Nord CE, Mi 11X, Samsung Galaxy M42Also Read - Ban Shein products sale on Amazon India: Delhi HC sends notice to centre
Since the launch of Netflix earlier this year, I ve relied heavily on the platform for my video content. This is because of Netflix s huge catalogue of quality TV shows and movies, including some excellent original shows produced by Netflix for its own platform, such as House of Cards, Narcos and Stranger Things. Because these shows have been made by Netflix for Netflix, you need a Netflix subscription to gain access. This is my biggest reason for sticking with the platform; because Netflix has a reputation of producing quality content that I want to watch. ALSO READ: Amazon Prime Video first impressions Also Read - Amazon Prime Day sale: Top 5 deals on budget phones from Redmi, Samsung, more
This is something that Amazon Prime Video is notable for as well. Amazon produces its own content, which will of course be exclusive to its platform. Although it isn t quite at the same level as Netflix just yet, it s got a good catalogue of shows nonetheless, including The Grand Tour, The Man In The High Castle and many more. Apart from this, Amazon Prime Video is also focused on producing original content in India for India, which is one area where it has the upper hand over competitor Netflix which has only just tapped into the Indian market with its coming series Sacred Games. The platform has announced a series of TV shows and movies that have been produced in India, with renowned producers and directors such as Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi and All India Bakchod. These shows will no doubt appeal to the majority of Indian audiences far more than Netflix s foreign content, no matter how good it is.
This also shows a difference in the approach towards providing content tailored to the preferences of a particular audience. At Netflix, we think of our entire viewer base as one and don t tailor our content for a particular region or demographic. Just because a subscriber lives in India does not mean he or she will be recommended Indian content. Our algorithms figure out what you like and recommend shows for you based on that, said Shanta Arul, spokesperson for Netflix, Asia.
Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, is targeting the Indian demographic in a much more direct way, and while I may personally not see any added value in this because of my disregard for regional themes, I m fairly certain that the majority of the Indian market will. Additionally, Amazon Prime Video has content that appeals to everyone, with shows and movies in a variety of Indian languages. While Hotstar does also provide a lot of Indian content, the response to its paid service has been relatively cold and only picks up when key shows and streams are available, such as Game of Thrones or when there is a major cricket tournament and it has the exclusive streaming rights. However, it s important to note that a lot of Hotstar s content is free to watch, and this is one department where it has an advantage.
But what is Amazon Prime Video s biggest advantage? Pricing and value for money. Signing up for Prime Video now will get you a month of free trial period, after which you re paying just Rs 499/year. Pricing will increase to Rs 999/year from next year, but even at that price it s significantly cheaper than Netflix and Hotstar s paid service. If, like me, you re already an Amazon Prime paid subscriber, there are no additional costs and you get all of Prime Video s services for free. There s no denying the value on offer here, and indeed the vast majority of mobile streaming users are likely to have no issue with paying what comes to about Rs 42 per month for good TV shows and movies. The download option also means you can download when you have broadband connectivity and watch it when you re outside, thereby saving your mobile data. ALSO READ: Netflix finally lets users download shows, movies and watch them offline; here s how it works
This is also likely to have some effect on Netflix, which comes across as very expensive in the face of Amazon Prime Video s aggressive pricing. While it might force pricing down, I d like to believe that this will have the positive effect of bringing new users to online streaming that Netflix could not tap into because of its high price, rather than taking away customers from Netflix. I personally will subscribe to both services and not halt my Netflix subscription, because that would mean losing access to a lot of quality content. But it s hard to imagine that most people will think like me, and Amazon s strategy can potentially bring a lot of those people into the fold.
But one thing is clear after today s announcement from Amazon: online streaming is the way forward, and Amazon Prime Video has the potential to massively change the way Indians consume television and movie content. Its growing catalog of quality Indian and foreign content can bring users to the platform, since these are available nowhere else, and you re unlikely to find a serial streamer who has a problem with paying Rs 499/year for good content. For these reasons, Amazon Prime Video is a winner, and exactly what modern consumers need.