tech2 News StaffDec 14, 2016 10:59:25 IST
Amazon India is getting ready to launch the Prime Video service, its premium video streaming service, in India on 14 December.
Amazon Prime Video service is an offering which will be available to Amazon's Prime subscribers. It lets you stream TV shows and movies – both Indian and international including the Amazon Original Series as well. The reason it is being eagerly awaited in the Indian market is because, according to Amazon, existing Prime subscribers in India will not have to pay anything over the Rs 499 that they have already paid for the annual membership. Unlike the US, where you pay a $99 fee for annual Prime subscription, in India that fee is a fraction of the cost.
According to a report in The Times of India, industry observers are of the opinion that Amazon has earmarked close to Rs 2,000 crore for content in India. This amount is higher than the annual programming budget of the top three Hindi GEC channels combined.
Amazon India has already announced partnerships with a lot of content partners for Prime Video specific TV shows and movies. Among the partners there are Bollywood blockbusters, Hollywood movies, US shows, global award-winning Amazon Original Series including Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour and kids’ programming. Then there is the partnership with Japan's TV Asahi Corporation for popular shows such as Doraemon, Shinchan, and Ninja Hattori.
On the Indian front, Amazon will even tie up with Dharma Productions, T-Series, Vishesh Films and more to deliver local content of their existing and upcoming films. Talking about Amazon Originals, Amazon Prime Video along with acclaimed filmmaker SS Rajamouli, Graphic India and Arka Mediaworks, recently announced a partnership to extend the magnum opus ‘Baahubali’, a film that earned over Rs 600 crores in worldwide box office collections, into a new multi-episode animated series titled – “Baahubali: The Lost Legends”. Deals have also been signed with Green Gold Animation which makes kids shows such as Super Bheem, Chota Bheem and Mighty Raju.
Amazon Prime Video service will go head-to-head with Netflix India, which had started its operations earlier this year. But considering Amazon Prime Video is being bundled with the Prime subscription of Rs 499, that can ring alarm bells for Netflix. The lowest Netflix plan is at Rs 500 per month. Then there is Hotstar which offers premium services at Rs 199 per month. Prime Video will be the latest entrant in the growing video streaming segment in India which boasts of many players.
You can download the Amazon Prime Video app (yes, it's a separate app) from the Google Play Store. The app is currently not available in India on the App Store, but if you have a US iTunes account, you can sign install the app from there. You'll then need to sign into the app using your Amazon ID. You'll need an Amazon Prime subscription to access all the content, however.
According to a Medianama report, the catalogue includes prominent Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu titles along with some English language films. New films such as Sultan, Kabali, Kapoor & Sons, Fan are also part of the catalogue. Most of these movies are censored as well. TV shows and non-Indian films are not censored.
Our initial impressions suggest that the media library is rather limited. However, given the entry price, this catalogue will do for now.
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