After making us direly wait for months, Amazon is finally debuting its video streaming service – Prime Video – in India. The e-commerce giant had earlier launched its Prime delivery subscription in the country but the video service had been delayed. But Prime Video has finally been released in the country and can be accessed by existing (and new) Prime users via both desktop and mobile.
Amazon Prime Video has been made available to Indian users for a steal, at an introductory subscription price of a meager Rs. 499 per year, which is way less than the subscription offerings of its competitors. The company will continue to offer the Prime subscription service for Rs. 999/ year (about Rs. 84/month), once the initial traction for the service has been created among the masses. It will, however, still be comparatively lower than the $99 subscription charges in the United States (but they also have Amazon Music access).
Once you open the Amazon Prime Video app, available both on Android and iOS, you’ll be greeted with a home screen with regional movies and TV shows in the top slideshow. It includes latest Bollywood movies like Sultan, Kapoor & Sons, Kabali, Raaz, Sarbjit to name a few. If you scroll down further, you’ll see some Amazon Original Series, American TV shows and a Kids and Family tab with animated content.
Then if you tap on a movie, you are provided with multiple options including watch now (to stream right away), download (to watch it later, even offline), add to watchlist and watch the trailer before proceeding with the screening. Also, if you select any TV show from the vast Prime Video collection, then you’d first have to choose the season you wish to watch. Then options similar to those available during movie streaming will be shown. The local content might be censored but non-Indian films will not censor explicit language.
For the past couple of months, Amazon had been continually running around, signing deals with production houses to bring more regional (or local) content to their video streaming platform. It has even signed a partnership agreement with Green Gold Animation to bring kid-friendly shows such as Chota Bheem, Super Bheem, and Mighty Raju to its platform. This partnership also includes exclusive rights to all movies and TV shows produced by the animators in the coming months. It has also partnered with Japan’s TV Asahi Corporation for popular shows like Doraemon, Shinchan, and Ninja Hattori.
And how can one leave out the widely popular ‘Baahubali,’ whose universe is being expanded by Amazon via a new animated series. Other movie houses which have jumped on the Amazon wagon are Dharma Productions, T-Series, Vishesh Films and acclaimed filmmakers including SS Rajamouli, Graphic India, and Arka Media works.
In addition, industry experts are of the opinion that Amazon has earmarked a whopping $300 million from the additional $3 billion investment by founder Jeff Bezos in the country’s operations. These funds will be employed to further expand the regional content libraries of the Prime Video service. This launch pits the company against the likes of Netflix and Hotstar in the country. who’re both working on original content to cater to the local audiences. They’re also bidding for the broadcasting rights of India’s largest cricketing event – IPL 2017. Amazon is also looking to roll out the video streaming service globally across 200 countries by the end of December.
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