(Updates to add pricing and analyst commentary)
By Sankalp Phartiyal and Shilpa Jamkhandikar
NEW DELHI, Sept. 24 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc on Friday launched eight global and local streaming services in India on its video platform, with the aim of increasing subscriptions.
The move comes at a time of growing competition from global and domestic rivals in a market important to the US tech company.
The Amazon Channels service will help customers using its flagship loyalty program Prime to subscribe to multiple streaming services on a single interface, Gaurav Gandhi, head of Amazon Prime Video in India, told Reuters in a pre-launch interview. .
“We believe that in addition to solving customer issues … multiple apps, multiple connections … it also fixes a lot of things for our partners where they can benefit from the reach and ubiquitous distribution of Prime Video,” Gandhi said.
Channels is launched with streaming services from partners such as Discovery Inc, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and Mubi, Gandhi said, adding that India is the 12th country where it is launched.
Gandhi declined to discuss the specifics of revenue sharing with content partners or discuss other financial parameters of the service.
Prime customers will still need to pay individually to subscribe to each streaming service, although they are currently offered at a reduced price.
For example, Mubi movie streaming app costs 499 rupees ($ 6.77) per month in India, but on Prime Video the subscription is priced at 1,999 rupees annually.
“Amazon’s power as a content aggregator and as a destination is improving,” said Uday Sodhi, former head of digital operations for Sony Group Corp in India.
“This is great for Amazon because they will understand consumer behavior even better … from the consumption of other apps. And all of this will help them significantly increase their business.”
India, the second most populous country in the world with 1.3 billion people, is a vital growth market for Amazon and its global rivals Netflix and Walt Disney.
Prime Video rival Disney + Hotstar hosts Bollywood movies, TV shows and TV shows and streams popular India Cricket League matches live, while Netflix has been betting big on the original local content.
An announced merger of India’s Zee and a local unit of Japanese Sony Group Corp is also set to create a TV powerhouse that will challenge Prime Video and others in the market.
Amazon has invested heavily in the acquisition and production of local content in India and its founder Jeff Bezos said last year that Prime Video is doing well globally “but nowhere does it do better than in India “. Amazon does not break down user numbers by country. ($ 1 = 73.7300 Indian rupees) (Report by Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi and Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Mumbai; edited by Muralikumar Anantharaman)