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Amazon inks deal with Vishesh Films for TV shows & movies

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Amazon has signed a content deal with Mukesh Bhatt-owned Vishesh Films for movies and TV series, reports the Economic Times. The deal will give Amazon exclusive digital access to Vishesh Films’ entire catalogue including Raaz Reboot, Aashiqui 2, Jannat, Murder etc., and other upcoming films.

Last month, Amazon India signed up with Excel Entertainment for its first show called Power Play, which would be based on cricket and showbiz. According to the Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani owned production house, it had been working on the shows with Amazon for eight-nine months. The shows was also the first digital series for Excel Entertainment.

Earlier this year, CEO Jeff Bezos said that “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.”  It was also reported that Amazon would invest $300 million for video in India. In July, directors Vishal Bhardwaj and Vidhu Vinod Chopra were brought in to create TV shows for Prime Video which are expected to launch in November. The company had also invested $100 million for producing original TV shows last year.

However, it’s not clear if the the new content will be available only for Prime members, or when Prime video will launch. 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: In July, 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.

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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.

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