Amazon’s Fire TV streaming stick, which launched last month in India, has added Vuclip’s streaming service Viu as an app on its platform. This is the first streaming device Viu has been released on. Vuclip, a California-based streaming company, which launched Viu in India last year, is creating original content in Hindi and Telugu, and is also producing two shows by Vikram Bhatt. Viu’s catalogue in India mostly comprises non-exclusively licensed Hindi films, South Indian films dubbed into Hindi, and a sizable catalogue of Telugu films. Aside from Viu, Amazon also has apps for Hotstar, NDTV, Sony Liv, Netflix, Spuul, and Eros Now, among others.
Amazon is clearly pursuing Indian streaming providers aggressively to differentiate itself from competitors like Chromecast — in fact, in 2013, the then-head of Zee’s DittoTV called streaming sticks like Chromecast a gimmick that would never catch on. DittoTV was one of the featured apps in Amazon’s streaming stick’s launch in India last month.
Amazon has also countered competition with another curious method: in 2015, the company removed established streaming devices like the Chromecast and Apple TV from all of its online marketplaces globally, including India. Because of this, no major streaming device was available on Amazon India for over one and a half years, until Fire TV launched last month.
There isn’t enough room for homespun competing streaming devices: Teewe, a streaming stick developed by a Bangalore-based company could only get YouTube, Eros Now, and screen mirroring, in addition to select TV shows and films licensed from studios streaming from its own proprietary platform. We checked, and Teewe doesn’t seem to be available anymore. Other streaming devices that use Android TV or similar open-source code don’t have many of the apps that Amazon presumably worked with content providers to develop.