Amazon’s subscription-based video streaming service Amazon Prime Video goes live today with a free 30-day trial on its website, iOS and Android platforms. Existing Prime users in India will have access to unlimited video streaming with their Rs 499/999 annual Prime membership. Users can pay via Credit/Debit Cards, Netbanking, Gift Cards and Cash on Delivery.
Prime Video will let users control the maximum bitrate for videos being streamed or downloaded at four different video quality levels. Note that Prime Video’s rival Netflix also allows users to download and set quality levels for videos.
Last week, Amazon released the Prime Video app accidentally in India. At that time MediaNama took a peek into the app to discover that Prime Video features subtitles and dubbing in Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali. More on this here.
Content Library and original programming
Prime Video has a local language collection of Bollywood and other regional Indian movies (Tamil, Telugu, Marathi), Hollywood movies, a library of US-based TV shows, and kids’ programming as well. The library will have video content from Amazon Original Series which including titles like Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May among others.
Amazon has partnered with local content producers, authors, writers and directors for adding Amazon Original Series in India. These include titles like:
-‘Bodhidharma: Master of Shaolin’, featuring Ram Madhvani, Prasoon Joshi and Sunil Doshi;
-‘Breathe’, starring R Madhvan and Amit Sadh;
-‘The Ministry’, featuring AIB and OML;
-‘Vishpuri’, featuring Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Madhu Mantena among other 9 different titles.
Premium content: Apart from this, Amazon will premiere new Bollywood and regional movies exclusively on Prime Video within weeks after their theatrical releases. This will include US-based TV shows which will be premiered a day after the US broadcast date. The list includes TV shows from local producers like Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, T-Series and Excel, and Warner, Paramount, CBS, Everest, SVF from abroad.
Prime Video will compete with a sea of existing local players like VOOT which recently crossed 15 million monthly active users, Eros Now with over 1.1 million unique paying active users, Hungama which claims over 20 million users worldwide, and Hotstar which recently launched premium subscription for unlimited streaming of TV shows. These services have inked deals with content distributors to increase diversity of content library.
Apart from this some recent global players in the Indian video streaming space include Netflix, YouTube and Vuclip, which also bets on original content programming in India to gather more users. Telecom operators like Reliance Jio, Idea, and Airtel have also entered the video streaming space by launching their own apps. And notably, Jio’s apps are loaded Over-The-Air once a subscriber installs the SIM onto the phone. Both Idea and Jio have tie ups with Eros International for content.