Amazon India is set to offer music and video streaming services later this year, reports The Economic Times. Earlier, Television Post had reported that Amazon had hired former Multi Screen Media executive Nitesh Kripalani to head its digital content business. Kripalani was instrumental in developing Sony Liv and Liv Sports.
The Economic Times report also adds that Amazon is looking to bring its Prime service to India but is yet to appoint an executive for its roll out and Kripalani will also be responsible for negotiations with India’s biggest media houses including Yash Raj Films and Eros International. Regarding the model of the service, executives at Amazon told ET that they favour streaming rather than allowing customers to download music and videos.
Earlier in May last year, Amazon India’s rival Flipkart launched an annual subscription service similar to Prime called Flipkart First which offers customers same day delivery, free shipping, 60-day replacement guarantee and priority customer service. Amazon offers movie streaming as a part of the Prime service in western countries for customers but Flipkart does not have such a service in India. In the US, Amazon Prime offers over 40,000 movies and TV shows, a million songs and 500,000 free ebooks for $99 per year.
It is also interesting to note that Indian entertainment houses have been signing up with digital distribution companies to better sell their content and Amazon’s push to video and music streaming will certainly help. Last year, Rajshri Entertainment, Aditya Music and Saregama signed up with Believe Digital, a global music distribution service, to push their content across iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer and Pandora among others.
Amazon has been ramping up its logistics services and last year with the launch of the Xbox One offered release day delivery. It had launched a pilot program to test in-store pick-up service in Delhi and Mumbai in association with BPCL’s In & Out stores, in March last year and was later extended to Bangalore and customers could pick up Amazon purchases at local kirana shops. Amazon also announced plans to open five new fulfillment centers in the country. These centers will be located in Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Tauru (outskirts of Gurgaon).