Amazon has announced a new partnership with India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to stream movies and TV shows from state-run studios. The e-commerce giant will also offer internships to students from government film institutes in India, helping to promote creative talent in the country. The move is a major milestone for Amazon as it seeks to expand its footprint in India, one of the world’s largest streaming entertainment markets. Not only will this collaboration showcase made-in-India content to global audiences, but it will also aid in the upskilling of India’s up-and-coming content creators and strengthen industry-academia linkages.
In an official statement, the company announced that it has signed a letter of engagement with the Indian government’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in order to promote the growth of the creative economy of the country. Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, said that the collaboration between the two “is unique on a number of counts and the Letter of Engagement spans across various aspects of the creative industry.” Furthermore, this development is expected to strengthen Amazon’s “commitment to globally promote and showcase India’s creative talent and stories through our multiple services.”
Amazon rightfully called the development a “multi-layered collaboration,” given that it goes beyond simply streaming content from state-run studios (such as NFDC, Doordarshan, and the International Film Festival of India) on Prime Video and miniTV. For one, both Prime Video and miniTV will work towards providing internships and scholarship opportunities for students at the Film and Television Institute of India and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute. Furthermore, masterclasses will also be curated for students and individuals who have been selected under MIB’s 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow.
Apart from this, the Amazon India business will also introduce a special feature to promote books and journals from the ministry’s publication arm and promote India’s heritage. Alexa is also pitching in and will team up with Amazon Music to disseminate diverse Indian music content, and with Prasar Bharati to help in the dissemination of news bulletins, educational content, and historical speeches of India’s Prime Ministers and Presidents.
“Our rich cultural diversity offers immense potential, to drive a thriving creative economy and further India’s soft- power, internationally. Our holistic collaboration with MIB, looks at every life stage and every corner of integration to stimulate the growth of the industry, and we are very optimistic about the pathways that it will create,” said Gaurav Gandhi, VP of Prime Video, Asia Pacific. “As the Indian economy expands at a fast clip, Amazon is uniquely placed to contribute to the nation’s growth journey on multiple fronts including e-commerce, logistics, digital skilling, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, and in building the creative economy,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, VP of Public Policy at Amazon India.