In a bid to become a super app, Amazon Prime Video on Friday launched its Channels vertical in India by tying up with eight other subscription-based OTT video streaming players whose content can be viewed on its platform.
India, an important market for US giants Amazon Prime Video and its rivals Netflix and Disney with its 1.3 billion-strong population, already has more than 40 OTT apps even as newer regional players enter the fray every few months.
Prime Video Channels will act as an intermediary for movies from Lionsgate Play, Eros Now and MUBI, Bengali OTT player hoichoi, Malayalam's manoramaMAX, documentaries from DocuBay, short films from ShortsTV and wildlife, adventure, science, food and lifestyle content from discovery+.
India is the 12th country Amazon is launching this service in.
Calling it a video entertainment marketplace, Amazon Prime Video, India, Country Manager, Gaurav Gandhi said it will not only give customers even more entertainment choices, "but also benefit the OTT Channel partners who collaborate with us to leverage Prime Video's distribution, reach and tech infrastructure".
"As content choices explode, a single interface for discovery, streaming and payments, is a key need for customers and we aim to solve for this with the launch of Prime Video Channels" said Chaitanya Divan, Head Prime Video Channels, Amazon Prime Video. He said the choice of partners reflects the diverse entertainment needs of the discerning customer and that they will add more partners over the next few months.
Prime customers will have to pay individual add-on subscriptions to access each of the services, but they can continue to watch the content within the Amazon Prime Video app. The OTT partners have offered introductory discounts for the subscriptions through Amazon.
Vishnu Mohta, co-founder of hoichoi, one of the apps on offer through Prime Video Channels, said the subscription amount paid through Amazon will reach them. "It is a reseller arrangement, not a bundling or syndication partnership. Consumption will happen on Prime Video Channels, but we get the subscription amount. We pay a commission to Amazon."
The hotly contested OTT space is already seeing some consolidation, with two leading media houses Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) proposing a merger of their businesses, including their OTT platforms. The deal, if it goes through, will likely create India's second largest homegrown OTT player after Disney+ Hotstar, which will offer everything from sports to regional programming.
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