Amazon Prime Video launches mobile-only plans in India
Amazon Prime Video on Wednesday launched mobile-only subscription plans in India. Already viewed by customers across more than 4,300 cities and towns, the new pricing is an attempt by the company to reach more customers in the country where the bulk of the users consume video on mobile.
A first for the firm globally, the mobile-only packs starting at Rs 89 (for 28 days) and available across varied price points, have been introduced in partnership with Airtel that has around 290 million customers.
“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,” Jay Marine, vice-president, Amazon Prime Video Worldwide said in a statement.
Indians are high on entertainment and the pandemic has only allowed home-bound consumers to explore content across over-the-top (OTT) platforms. A survey by a division of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) India released in September last year said on an average, North Indians purchased three new platform subscriptions during the lockdown while South Indians bought two of them. Not surprisingly, companies are leveraging this opportunity to expand when some competitors are already in the game. Rival Netflix launched a mobile-only pack in India in July 2019 and the firm had earlier claimed that it saw “better uptake and retention” than initial estimates.
For Prime Video though, adoption becomes a bit easier due to Prime’s e-commerce proposition. As consumers shunned traditional shopping to move online, people from remote towns like Tawang and Mokokchung purchased Prime membership, giving the video service access to untapped markets. Amazon said internationally, the number of Prime members who stream Prime Video grew by more than 80% year-on-year in Q3 2020.
Prime Video that has hit Indian web shows like Mirzapur and Paatal Lok to its credit is gearing up to launch a diverse slate of India originals in the coming years. Nearly 55 original series are in various stages of development and 31 in different stages of production, India director and country general manager Gaurav Gandhi had told FE in an interview. Analysts at Media Partners Asia estimate OTT content investments to have reached $700 million in 2020. With budgets for originals and local acquisitions trending upwards, OTT content costs are projected to grow at a CAGR of 18% between 2020-25 to reach $1.6 billion, they said.
Besides Netflix, Amazon Prime Video competes with Disney+Hotstar and a clutch of homegrown services including Zee5, AltBalaji and Voot Select.
The competition is huge. Disney that unveiled a stellar line-up of upcoming content at a company event last month said Disney+Hotstar service will be enhanced with the addition of local programming. The strategy is to “grow with premium content for everyone.”