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12 Apr 2017

Amazon and Netflix bring content war on Indian turf

Amazon vs Netflix- new grounds, old fight

Indian online streaming market is booming thanks to a tech-savvy millennial crowd; and the streaming services are ready to spoil us.

Amazon and Netflix are now flexing their muscles with a war chest of Rs. 2,000 crore each to make their mark on the Indian user base.

Rivalry and turf-war of Amazon and Netflix are the next pot-boiler in the Indian content scene.

In context

Amazon vs Netflix- new grounds, old fight
Amazon Prime is ahead in the subscribers count


Amazon Prime is ahead in the subscribers count

Amazon Prime video has signed up nearly 9.5 million active subscribers since its launch in December 2016, compared to its arch rival Netflix, which currently has 4.2 million active subscribers.

Amazon offers a yearly subscription of ad-free, on demand services for Rs. 499, whereas Netflix charges a whopping Rs. 500 per month, thus the preference towards Amazon prime is a no-brainer.


Somewhere between "Narcos" and "Naagin"

Amazon and Netflix both want to fill the "huge content gap that exists between Narcos and Naagin", said Apoorva Mehta, CEO at Dharma Productions.

Hyunwoo Thomas Kim of Kross Pictures has signed a deal with Amazon to produce "Suspect X" - an original series to be directed by Sujoy Ghosh.

Amazon has announced 18 original shows for India - highest outside of the USA.

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Partnerships of streaming services with Indian production houses


Partnerships of streaming services with Indian production houses

Amazon has already struck deals with Yash Raj Films (YRF), Dharma Production, T-Series, Shree Venkatesh films, Everest entertainment, V Creations and Dream Warrior.

Netflix's local content acquisition has been slower than that of Amazon, as Netflix has only managed to enter partnerships with Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment and Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd for now.

Binge watching

Making the shift from television to online binge

Online on-demand video services have increased manifold in the last couple of years, with a slew of online services making its way into the market.

Also, the boom in the smartphone market has helped, as watching videos online from smartphones have increased dramatically.

Indians are getting attracted to American and European shows, which are easier to stream online following the ban on torrent sites.

Home-grown streaming services lagging behind

Unequal competition

Home-grown streaming services lagging behind

Amazon and Netflix have the liberty to spend big bucks on their contents, which the Indian competitors can't.

According to Y-Films, the youth arm of YRF and the creator of several popular web series, the amount of money spent by them or TVF on a whole series is the cost of one episode by Amazon or Netflix.

Falling behind

Bringing in the tech expertise and freebies

Netflix announced that it is incorporating an AI Dynamic Optimizer, which is going to analyze each shot in videos and compressing them without affecting the image quality.

Amazon allows downloading almost all contents from its website which is rare among other streaming services.

These freebies keep them ahead of others in the game and regional players, such as Hotstar lag behind.

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