Amazon launches aggregation service for video streaming apps in India: report

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Launch comes at a time of increasing competition from global and domestic rivals

Amazon.com Inc launched a bundling option on its video platform for global and local streaming services in India on Friday, with the aim of increasing subscriptions.

The launch comes at a time of growing competition from global and domestic rivals in a market important to the US tech company.

The Amazon Channels service will help customers using its flagship loyalty program Prime to subscribe to multiple streaming apps on a single interface, Gaurav Gandhi, head of Amazon Prime Video in India, told Reuters in a pre-launch interview. .

“We believe that in addition to solving customer issues … multiple apps, multiple connections … it also fixes a lot of things for our partners where they can benefit from the reach and ubiquitous distribution of Prime Video,” Gandhi said.

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The service is launched with streaming apps from partners such as Discovery Inc, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and Mubi, Gandhi said, adding that India is the 12th country where it is launched.

Gandhi declined to discuss the specifics of revenue sharing with content partners or discuss other financial parameters of the service.

Amazon’s Prime loyalty program, which costs 999 rupees annually ($ 13.53) in India, offers customers free shipping, early access to deals during sales, and free streaming of music and videos.

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India, the second most populous country in the world with 1.3 billion people, is a vital growth market for Amazon and its global rivals Netflix and Walt Disney.

Prime Video’s rival Disney + Hotstar hosts Bollywood movies, TV shows and TV shows and streams popular India Cricket League matches live, while Netflix has been betting big on the original local content. An announced merger of India’s Zee and a local unit of Japanese Sony Group Corp is also set to create a TV powerhouse that will challenge Prime Video and others in the market.

Amazon has invested heavily in the acquisition and production of local content in India and its founder Jeff Bezos said last year that Prime Video is doing well globally “but nowhere does it do better than in India “. Amazon does not break down user numbers by country.

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But India has also proven to be a political minefield for Amazon, where it was forced to make rare apologies earlier this year for some scenes from an original drama series, which allegedly undermined Hindu religious beliefs. .

“We are learning from experiences and working on it,” Gandhi said when asked if Amazon Prime Video has become more careful in selecting and hosting content after the controversy.

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