indica News Bureau-
Founder of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos, on Thursday told Bollywood that the video streaming platform of the company was faring better in India as compared to the other countries of the world.
Though the small ration stores loathe Amazon and are up in arms against it, the 56 year old founder went to a small store to see the off-line business in Mumbai. Though instead of commenting on the issue he said, “Nowhere in the world is Prime Video doing better than in India and we are planning to double down on our investments here,” Bezos told the large Bollywood community that is producing new web-series for his video streaming platform.
“The service is working great in India. In the last two years, our watch hours have grown six times,” Bezos said in conversation with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, knowing that Khan and Akhtar have worked closely with Prime Video’s rival Netflix, Live Mint reported.
While Khan has a long-term deal with Netflix for the acquisition rights to his films and produced shows like Bard of Blood, Akhtar has directed series like Lust Stories and Ghost Stories for the rival platform.
“We want to be known as the most talent-friendly studio in the world because it is talent that makes stories,” Bezos said.
Amazon, which has bought 15 Indian originals so far, unveiled seven more titles—Dilli, Bandish Bandits, Paatal Lok, Gormint, Mumbai Diaries-26/11, The Last Hour and Sons of Soil- Jaipur Pink Panthers —at the event.
In India, the Amazon strategy is clear—it is putting huge amounts of money into building a content-rich library dominated by big-ticket Bollywood titles. For some of them, the company is said to have shelled out as much as Rs 25 crore. High-profile Indian films such as War, Gully Boy, Padmaavat and Bharat reflect the company’s commitment to go big, primarily through long-term deals with industry bigwigs such as Dharma Productions, Yash Raj Films and Salman Khan.
The service, which is targeting mass, pan-Indian audiences, offers content in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Gujarati.
To lure viewers further, the giant has provided subscribers of Amazon with additional benefits like free shipping, access to Amazon’s music streaming library and a growing collection of original TV shows and movies for an annual charge of Rs 999. The rival platform however offers subscription at Rs 499 per month, deterring most people from getting the subscription. To attract more Indian audience, Netflix however launched a mobile-only option at Rs199 a month last year.
Bezos reiterated at the Mumbai event something he has often said—that the company gets to monetize its subscription video in an unusual way: Amazon Prime members buy more other goods on Amazon than non-Prime members, driven by the idea that once they’ve paid their annual fee, they’ll get more value out of the programme.
[Photo courtesy: twitter]