As Amazon is looking for new users, it is increasingly focusing on India as a market, and entertainment continues to be its bait to attract more customers to its platform, albeit with Prime Minister involvement.
On each annual subscription, the R999 Amazon offers unrated movie and episodic content, music, exclusive e-commerce offers and free delivery at your doorstep.
Now the American e-commerce and entertainment giant is looking for regional or local content to attract new users and allow existing users to continue to come back. "(Local content) is incredibly important," said Vijay Subramani, director and director of Amazon Prime Video India. "India is diverse with many cultures. No customer is best served without consideration."
With India's Internet infrastructure matured, thanks to Reliance Jio, a large number of people started streaming content online, offering great opportunities for content streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. India already has 475 smartphone users, but the penetration of the metro city is still only 40-45%, leaving many opportunities for content makers and distributors to play. Metro is much higher than 80-85%.
Both Netflix and Prime promise to offer film-like experiences regarding video stories and quality that will force people to pay for subscription services. However, the content business for American streaming platforms in India has been a tricky content that can be split up. According to Jana Mobile's largest report, Amazon has just been able to capture a market share of 5% by March 2018. Netflix was 1.4%. Indian rivals Hotstar, for example, controlled 69.4% of the shares, and SonyLIV (despite the lack of streaming services) was 13%.
Why not? According to Media Partners Asia, India's digital video market is $ 700 million, and by 2023 it will be more than tripled to $ 2.4 billion. According to a recent study by FICCI Frames, roughly five providers, including video platforms, have paid around two million paid subscribers and 1-1.5 million customers who have fully relocated to digital media. It is estimated that the number of people using digital platforms will be by four million by 2020, and subscription revenue is expected to exceed Rs. 200.
Regional will play an important role if the figures in the film industry are taken into account. According to Deloitte, Indian film industry is dominated by Hindu films, accounting for 43% of total industry revenues of over $ 2.1 billion. Half of the revenue comes from regional cinema, while the remaining 7% is from international cinema.
Already the local content is 70% Prime Video stream in India, while the rest is English. "In this 70%, our combination is evolving," said Subramani. "On November 1, we added the Kannada … the mixture is changing rapidly. The Prime Minister is the fastest growing country in the … and the video is an important part of it."
To attract new customers, Netflix has focused on the original Indian content. It released Lust Stories (focusing on female sexuality), its first episodic series of Sacred Games, the main element of which was Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, tragedy-thriller Ghoul, including Hindi initially, and later called it in other languages.
Amazon localization goes even further. Contrary to the fact that he produces Hindu originals, the Prime Minister wants to create original regional languages. First of all, GangStars is a Telugu original, which was later named Hindi. Subramaniam does not want to reveal the exact number, but Amazon has more regional original works in the pipeline, especially Telugu and Tamil. "Right now our focus is on Tamil and Telugu … We would like to check and learn from our customers. A lot of work is already on the way," he said.
One thing Amazon wants to focus on is high quality video, even with regional content. "Working with Amazon is like creating a movie in 10 parts," said Sanjay Reddy, CEO of GangStars, Silly Monks Entertainment.
Reddy is not a new entrant in the digital world. Silly Monks has 800 channels on YouTube, which also has a strong focus on regional video and local talent. Eddie has also made two Zee5 (Zee Network OTT Platforms) webcasts and release their first 24Kisses digital movie. With all the experience it was still not easy to stop Prime Video.
From half a dozen stories he submitted only one that was accepted. It's important to stay faithful to the story and stay authentic, explained Subramani. "The decision is based on what our customers say and want. It is important that we create a Tamil story with our Tamil customers, which means that what we have learned is the more authentic our stories, the more successful it becomes outside the community, "he added.
At the same time, Prime Video has also launched popular Hollywood films such as Mission Impossible, Inferno, Transformers, The Dark Knight, and other hits. It has also named its Hindi originals Inside Edge and Elpot in other regional languages.
There are other content platforms with a high level of local language consumption. According to Vidooly, the digital entertainment seeker, Telugu videos are most viewed in the entertainment category YouTube. For example, the Telugu film Sarrunud's digital premiere on YouTube was over 183 million views.
India's largest OTT platform, Hotstar, also has a great bouquet of regional content, but mainly from older Star's regional television shows. From 2016, it focused on regional content. It currently has more than nine languages offering several sports lessons, television shows and movies.
What if other OTT platforms work? "I do not think that we will soon end story ideas," Subramani said without hesitation. The Prime Minister already offers content in six local languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Canadian (Cannada was added on November 1). While Prime will continue to add more regional languages, it will also order more original in other languages.
Follow the people
Amazon is an easy metric to open Prime Videos videos. "… Tamil is the second largest population, followed by Telugu, Cannada, followed by Marathi," Subramani said. "We are moving in the direction in which communities use content and want to have fun in these languages." (Editor's Note: Indian Census 2011 Bengali is the most widely spoken language in Hindi and English, followed by Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu languages).
When Amazon began adding new languages, more people wanted to watch their regional films during their learning. So Amazon began to master the regional film rights and added to the catalog. But soap and series fans were pleased with their television DTH service provider. For Amazon, what they were looking for was a high-quality fiction, stories that are essentially cinematic, but have multi-seasonal potential. They wanted to use different genres that they can easily eat depending on their mood.
Redditch's digital environment is still a large part of the country that is developing. But for the category of youth, many of them stopped watching television. GangStars was grabbing them. "It was the people we were targeting," he said.
Reddy, however, does not deny that with the rise of Reliance Jio, Internet consumption becomes ubiquitous. For example, a housewife may not be sitting on television to get her daily entertainment. "She's preparing food in the kitchen, she looks at what she wants on her smartphone," adds Reddy.
This shifting behavior and personalized video consumption allow companies such as Amazon to go deeper into Indian tissue culture. But, Soon, Amazon will soon not use the benefits of investing in regional content.
Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at technology research firm techARC, said there are three types of people who consume online content: people who pay for content for those who understand digital content and people who do not want to pay for content.
According to Kawoosa, the content of local languages is mostly for people who do not want to pay and consume videos on YouTube. "People who strive for Netflix and Amazon are people who are looking for international content … local language content is used for Category II and III user categories," he said.
Also, smartphones used by people who are more interested in local language content are of lower quality, which may not be great for viewing Netflix or Prime Video. "The content of local languages is a good addition to those who want to see the international content of English on these platforms," said Kawoosa.
Subramaniam completely disagrees. "Amazon's goal is to give you what you want when you want where you want, as you want," he said.
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