Reliance pens deal with Warner Bros: How it'll disrupt OTT
Reliance-owned Viacom 18's deal with media conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery to bring Warner Bros. and HBO content to JioCinema is bound to make India's OTT war intense. JioCinema's accession to becoming the house of Game of Thrones and Succession in India is a message to its rivals that it is here to play. And not just play, but win too.
Why does this story matter?
Reliance is known for its disruptive nature. The company and its subsidiaries excel at shaking up things. From Reliance Retail to Reliance Jio, there are multiple examples of how the company successfully accomplished this. India's OTT space, however, is a different space. Therefore, it should be interesting to see how Reliance's move affects the segment.
HBO's content was previously available on Disney+ Hotstar
Viacom 18's deal with Warner Bros. comes in the backdrop of HBO shows and movies becoming unavailable in India since March 31. HBO's content was previously available on Disney+ Hotstar. The two decided to end their eight-year-old relationship after they failed to agree on the content's value. HBO and Disney+ Hotstar's breakup has turned out to be a blessing for Reliance.
The deal between Warner and Viacom 18 is exclusive
Before joining hands with Reliance, Warner Bros. used to share its content with JioCinema's rivals, including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar. That may not be possible from now on. According to reports, the deal between Viacom 18 and Warner is exclusive. It is touted as a consolidation of Warner's library of content in India.
JioCinema was the most downloaded app during FIFA World Cup
JioCinema is still a small player in India's OTT market. However, it has been gaining traction by streaming popular sporting events. It was the exclusive streaming partner for the FIFA World Cup 2022. During the duration of the World Cup, it was the most downloaded free app on Android and iOS. It currently streams the Indian Premier League (IPL) for free.
Jio Studios recently unveiled slate of over 100 movies, webshows
It is interesting that Viacom 18 had to battle Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video for IPL's streaming rights. With now Warner Bros. under its belt, the company is making its intention known - it is here to disrupt. Recently, Jio Studios unveiled its Rs. 2,000 crore-worth slate of upcoming movies and web shows. As you can imagine, they will come to JioCinema.
JioCinema's OTT rivals are not easy customers
Reliance's moves in the OTT space are reminiscent of its all-out attack maneuver in other sectors. But, India's OTT space is dominated by Disney, Amazon, and Netflix. These three are not easy rivals to take on. Viacom 18 and JioCinema are in for a long and hard game in the OTT sphere. As we said, things are bound to get interesting.Share this timeline