AIB, Phantom films, Dharma and more: Amazon banks on Bollywood for Prime Video

Amazon’s big bang announcement about its Prime Video launch in India shook up the industry not only because of the highly competitive prices, but also for its proposed content offers. It announced a total of 18 shows, nine of which are already in production, in collaboration with content makers like All India Bakchod (AIB), Phantom Films and Excel Entertainment.

However, the American e-commerce giant’s content plans were in motion well before the launch, and by the looks of it, Amazon Prime Video will be depending heavily on India’s love for cinema—Bollywood and regional. The OTT service provider went on a deal signing spree and currently has long-term output deals with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Mukesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films and Bhushan Kumar led T-series. Apart from this, Amazon also has movies in Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.

At its launch, Prime Video has titles as recent as Sultan, Baar Baar Dekho, Fan, Sarabjit, Kapoor and Sons, Kabali, and Raaz Reboot, all released in late 2015 or 2016. Through its various deals, Amazon Prime Video also has rights to premier Bollywood films on its OTT service before the television premiere. This company news should give an edge in terms of attracting customers.

Experts believe that the content strategy employed by Amazon could work, now that the pricing they have announced is so competitive. However, there are doubts over the success of the output deals, in terms of customer retention and stickiness. “While recent Bollywood titles are an attraction for sure, I think what will ultimately work in its (Amazon’s) favour is the pricing. So the question to ask is whether this content is good enough to retain viewers when they ultimately increase the price?” says an executive from the industry.

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