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Amazon launches Heera, an online video channel for Indian movies and TV shows in US

Targeting Indian film and Bollywood fans in the US, Amazon has launched Heera, a curated on-demand video channel subscription. Heera is part of Amazon Channels where Prime users will be able to watch over 100 on-demand channels without a cable connection. Heera has a collection movies, TV shows, and kids content in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, and Bengali.

Heera features movies such as Sultan starring Salman Khan, Kapoor and Sons with Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt, and Fan starring Shah Rukh Khan, along with regional hits such as Kabali, Marathi classic Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, and Telugu’s Eega starring Sudeep.

Heera is Amazon Channels’ second curated subscription. It had created Anime Strike last month which focuses on anime fans. Amazon’s focus on Anime and Bollywood is interesting as it locks horns with Netflix.In 2015, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had mentioned that the company was planning to launch original Bollywood and anime programming aimed at non-US markets.

Amazon Channels allows Prime members to watch video subscriptions from, including HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV, A+E Network, AMC, Cinemax and, Seeso. Subscription for Amazon Channels cost less than $5 per month following a 7-day free trial. Amazon’s foray into channels makes sense in the US. Typically, cable TV packages are quite expensive but a Netflix subscription costs a fraction of a cable package subscription (cable TV packages cost hundreds of dollars per month).

Amazon Channels are available in the U.S. with support for all the devices where Amazon Video is available on—Fire TV, Fire and other iOS and Android tablets, connected TVs, game consoles, iOS and Android phones, and laptops.

Meanwhile, cable companies in the US have more competition as Google has announced YouTube TV, an online service to live-stream and record a portion of the US’s premium and cable television networks. It is priced at $35/month, and will have networks like the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox; and sports networks like ESPN.

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