Amazon Launches Channel Service In India, Will Continue To Acquire Premium Movies
Amazon Prime Video Channels has landed in India, where the streaming platform’s pay-per-view service is now available with eight of the country’s popular networks, with more to come.
Already available in 11 territories, including the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and Germany, Prime Video Channels content is available through the Amazon Prime Video app, on any compatible device, using the same user interface and billed on the same monthly invoice.
In India, Channels is launched with Discovery Plus, Lionsgate Play, Docubay, Eros Now, MUBI, Hoichoi, Manorama Max and Shorts TV – each accessible with respective complementary subscriptions, and adding 10,000 more titles to Prime’s existing library.
The plans are all annual at the moment, but Amazon is in discussions with its partners to introduce monthly plans, said Gaurav Gandhi, country manager of Amazon Prime Video, India. Variety.
Discovery Plus, Shorts TV and Eros Now will cost 299 INR ($ 4.07) per year, Docubay 499 INR ($ 6.79), Hoichoi INR599 ($ 8.15), Lionsgate Play and Manorama Max INR699 ($ 9.51 ) and MUBI INR 1,999 ($ 27.21).
Gandhi declined to reveal the distribution of income between the chains and Amazon. “Ultimately, we get subscribers for the partner,” Gandhi says. “So they are able to work with us in a very confident and transparent manner. “
The content of these eight channels is diverse. For example, MUBI specializes in arthouse films, Manorama Max in programming in Malayalam and Eros Now in mainstream Bollywood audiences.
“We have always programmed for India not as a homogeneous market, but as very heterogeneous language segments,” Gandhi said. “We program in 10 languages, and I think we’ve grown considerably now to be seen by 99% of the country’s PINs, in terms of viewer base, so we’re going a long way in that direction.”
“We can’t provide all the content they need, they are looking at other services as well,” Gandhi added. “So the idea was to create a market, like we’ve done in other parts of the world. “
Going forward, the plan is to grow Prime channels with partners that provide content in all languages and genres, creating a one-stop shop and “super serving” subscribers, according to Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Amazon has been one of the pioneers in creating films originally designed for theatrical release, streaming directly to the service, starting with “Gulabo Sitabo”, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana.
Now, as cinemas are gradually reopening in India, the acquisition plans for these films remain unchanged, albeit with a small built-in cinema window, if the producer wishes. Gandhi quotes the spy thriller “Bellbottom”, starring Akshay Kumar, which bowed in theaters on August 19 and on Amazon Prime Video on September 16.
“In the future, I think we’ll see a combination of things happen – we’ll see some movies come out in theaters and come to our homes… and we’ll also have examples of movies that will go straight to streaming,” Gandhi said. “We will be working with partners to see how they want to release their film. We’re not obsessed with every movie having to come straight to us via streaming, we’re quite comfortable working with partners and the movies have a cinematic window and then come to us.
However, Gandhi says that with changing customer tastes during the pandemic, audiences may choose not to go to the movies as before.
Elsewhere, Vijay Subramaniam, who was Director and Head of Content at Amazon Prime Video India from 2017, has resigned and will leave the streamer at the end of September. Describing his contribution as “fantastic,” Gandhi said Amazon is in the process of developing a new leadership team structure.
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