How Amazon Prime Video is Taking India from Under Netflix’s Nose

Prime Video launching original programming in India

Amazon announced yesterday that Amazon Prime is now available in more than 200 countries around the world. The biggest move was Amazon Prime’s launch in India, where Amazon has already started work on the production of multiple Indian original shows.

Amazon Prime members in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain can start watching today at no additional cost to their Prime membership. Customers in the other new Prime Video territories can sign up at an introductory price of $2.99 (or €2.99) per month for the first six months, starting with a free 7-day trial at

“We are excited to announce that starting today, fans around the world have access to Prime Video,” said Tim Leslie, Vice President, International, Prime Video. “The Grand Tour and other critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series like Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, and The Man in the High Castle, along with hundreds of popular Hollywood movies and TV shows, are now available at the introductory price of only 2.99 a month. And what’s really exciting is that we are just getting started.”

Prime Video members can also control how much data they use when streaming and downloading videos by choosing between Good, Better and Best visual quality settings, all of which utilize Amazon Prime Video’s state-of-the art video compression technology to use less data without degradation in visual quality.

Amazon added a slew of local movie titles for its Indian customers, while making it very clear that they will be focused on producing original shows as well.

The new shows (working titles) and creators associated with them include:

  • Bodhidharma: Master of Shaolin | Equinox Features | Ram Madhvani, Prasoon Joshi and Sunil Doshi
  • Breathe | Abundantia Entertainment | Vikram Malhotra, starring R Madhvan and Amit Sadh
  • The Ministry | AIB and OML
  • Powerplay |Excel Media & Entertainment | Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar starring Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadda and others
  • Mirzapur | Excel Media & Entertainment | Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar
  • Stardust | Phantom Films| Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl
  • The Family Man | D2R Films | DK Krishna and Raj Nidimoru
  • Vishpuri | Big Synergy | Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Madhu Mantena
  • Made in Heaven Excel Media & Entertainment and Tiger Baby| Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti.

“According to at least six people including some producers currently in talks with Amazon, the company is committing up to $300 million in funding movies and series ideas, part of the $3 billion fresh funding war chest CEO Jeff Bezos announced for India in June this year.

Earlier this year, Amazon quietly hired Aparna Purohit, a veteran film producer, as the head of creative development for Amazon Prime Video in India.” – reported by Factor Daily

Though the list looks a bit small compared to that of its competitors, it’s clear that the company wants its product to stand out. Netflix is already there in India but is still a newbie in the market, and Amazon’s’ decision to plunge deep into original programming while not even charging Amazon Prime members in India extra for Prime Video, it is a great move by the company to quickly get its name out and get its existing user base to  get hooked up with Prime Video and hooked on to Amazon Prime in the bargain. That’s something Netflix will have a hard time competing with in this particular market because it doesn’t have a massive complementrary retail presence like does.

Amazon is already the number one retail player in India and a well-known brand. Amazon’s move will definitely give the company a headstart over Netflix, which launched in India early this year. The basic subscription of Netflix costs INR 500 per month, totalling nearly $90 per year.

Amazon Prime, which was made available to Indian customers in July this year with a special introductory price of INR 499, one rupee less than a Netflix subscription. But you also get guaranteed free one day delivery, two-day and standard delivery on eligible items, unlimited video streaming, 30 minute early access to top deals and I am sure many more will be added in the months to come. Both Amazon Prime and Netflix are available in the “free for the first month” mode, but you can see clearly see why Amazon would want to jump in with both feet into original programming.

On the cost front Amazon does trounce Netflix because it offers much more than video streaming. Now, with the effort to create its own content suited to local tastes, Amazon can really make its video streaming product stand out in a market where Netflix does not have the kind of lead that it has over Amazon in the United States. Amazon knows the playing field is bit more level in India and a bit more tilted towards itself due to its branding and top position in the Indian e-tail market, and it is trying to capitalize on that strength in the fastest growing economy in the world.

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Source: Worldwide release and pricing 

Source: India Launch