As streaming giants turn to India in search of growth, Amazon is now following Netflix in rolling out its first ever mobile-only plan for Prime Video, in India. The plan, that was just announced, is in collaboration with India’s second largest mobile carrier ‘Airtel’. The plan is structured such that it allows pre-paid Airtel users to subscribe in multiple forms. It starts with a 30-day free trial which may be followed by a 28-day plan priced at ₹89 (~$1.25) for Prime Video content along with 6GB data.
“We believe that the Mobile Edition plan will further accelerate Prime Video’s adoption in India and allow an even larger number of customers to access our popular entertainment content,” said Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country General Manager, Amazon Prime Video India.
India has become a battleground for streaming giants, specially from the US. Both Netflix and Amazon have acquired big Bollywood titles as they compete for eyeballs. While Disney-owned Hotstar has spent big on acquiring live streaming rights for the IPL and other Indian-cricket tournaments. Japan’s Sony too has recently upped the ante with its ‘Sony LIV’ acquiring digital streaming rights for India’s overseas cricketing tours. The platform also launched some intriguing originals, one of them being ‘Harshad Mehta’, that went on top charts on IMdB. Amazon has acquired titles including Coolie No. 1, Gulabo Sitabo and others in 2020 and not forgetting their production slate that has originals across vernacular languages.
“Netflix may have started the trend but its customers, belonging to a more upper-class segment are likely to be screen-agnostic and moved to TV sets especially over the course of the pandemic as broadband penetration evolved,” Mihir Shah, vice-president at research firm Media Partners Asia (MPA) said.
According to an MPA report, Netflix commands 14% of India’s total online video revenue market while Amazon takes up 7%.
Airtel is the first to be part of such a deal with Amazon. But Sameer Batra, director at Mobile Business Development at Amazon, hinted that Amazon may ink similar deals with other telecom operators. Many of the other Streaming services already have such deals, including Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar
In a recent report by Goldman Sachs, it is estimated that gaming and video streaming market has a potential of as much as $5 billion in gross value transactions by March 2025. “India is one of our fastest growing territories in the world with very high engagement rates. Buoyed by this response, we want to double-down by offering our much-loved entertainment content to an even larger base of Indian customers,” said Jay Marine, Vice President, Amazon Prime Video Worldwide, in a statement.
Other offers under the plan include a 28-day pack priced at ₹299 that offers video content along with unlimited calls and data access of 1.5 GB per day.