Amazon Prime is now available in India with an introductory price of Rs 499 for a year which will give users same day or next day delivery on orders and 30 minute early access to lightning deals. After the inaugural pricing period, a Prime subscription will cost Rs 999 a year.
Items eligible for Prime benefits are marked on the website with the Prime logo next to it. Alternatively, users can choose the Prime logo filter to view the items available on Prime. Amazon Prime Video will be coming in later, the company said on its website without giving a timeline. Prime Video will have access to Amazon Original Series, movies and TV shows from India and around the world.
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.
Amazon has begun talks with Bollywood producers and independent production houses for building video content from India and has set aside $300 million for the same, reports FactorDaily.
In 2014, 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’s investment in India
Amazon continues to be bullish on India, its second largest market after the United States. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that a further $3 billion (about Rs 20,000 crore) will be invested in its India unit. With this Amazon’s total investment commitment in India goes up to $5 billion; the $3 billion announced now, plus the $2 billion investment announced back in July 2014, which the company has already completed in phases over the past two years.
Amazon India’s financials
From the ROC data: Amazon Seller Services reported a revenue of Rs 1,022.1 crore for the year 2014-15, growth of 108.46% from the previous year. However, losses widened to Rs 1,723.7 crore during the period from the loss of Rs 321.3 crore in the previous year.
Expenses also shot up during the year to Rs 2745.7 crore, compared to Rs 490.3 crore in the preceding year. Employee benefit expenses stood at 7% of total expenses while other expenses stood at 93%.