Amazon India has signed up with Excel Entertainment for its first show called Power Play, reports Business Insider. The series will be based on cricket and showbiz, and will start from the 16th of August.
Note that it’s not clear how long the series will last. Amazon mentions that the show is aimed at getting more exposure for its Prime platform which it launched recently in the country. According to the Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani owned production house, it has been working on the shows with Amazon for the past eight-nine months. The shows will also be the first digital series for Excel Entertainment.
Interestingly, in July last year, Amazon said the company would invest $100 million for producing original video content on Prime, which allows users to stream movies, TV shows and music as well as store photos. Earlier this year, CEO Jeff Bezos had said “Prime Video is coming soon, offering Prime members in India exclusive access to Original Series and Movies — including original content featuring top Indian creators and talent.” However, it’s not clear if the current series will be available only for Prime members.
Internationally, in May, Amazon launched a royalty based video service called Amazon Video Direct, that allows users to post videos and earn royalties from them.
Amazon Prime launch: Last month, Amazon launched Prime in India at an introductory price of Rs 499 for a year which would 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.
Subsequently, the company launched Amazon Pantry in Hyderabad, which is available globally only for Prime members. While Pantry is available for all users in India, it certainly seems like Amazon is working towards promoting Prime memberships through exclusive features.
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%.