Amazon launched its much-awaited video streaming service, Amazon Prime Video, in India today. At an event in Mumbai, the Amazon team announced that the streaming service is now be available in 242 countries worldwide. Here are all the details you want to know about the service.
How Can I Get Amazon Prime Video? What Is The Cost?
If you are an existing Amazon Prime member you need not pay anything as Amazon Prime video will be included in your package. If you are not a member you can start a one month trial for free. After that, there is an annual fee of ₹499 as an introductory price.
What do I get after subscribing to Amazon Prime?
All Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to stream the Amazon Prime Video library from any device anywhere without any ads. Additionally, there is a benefit of free 2-day or 1-day guaranteed delivery on Amazon on any item covered by Prime.
How can I access Amazon Prime Video?
You can stream the content on desktop from the website Primevideo.com. And there are apps that have been released for iOS and Android too. The Amazon team told HuffPost India that select LG and Samsung smart TVs also support the Amazon Prime app.
Can I download the videos?
What are the limitations?
You can only stream on three devices simultaneously from one account. The downloads will stay on the device for only 48 hours. You will be able to download 15-20 videos depending on your device's memory capacity. Also, there is no support for Apple TV or Google's Chromecast streaming.
What are the app's features?
You can set the streaming quality as Best, Better, Good or Data Saver. The data usage will increase, going from Data Saver (0.09 GB per hour) to Best (0.46 GB per hour). The app also has parental control, so if you are giving your child access to your Prime account you can decide what he or she watches. There is also an X-ray feature, which can identify a song playing in the background in a movie.
What are the shows on offer?
Amazon has tied up with big studios in India namely Dharma productions, Yash Raj Studios, T-series, Excel and others for Bollywood movies. Then, there are international tie-ups with studios such as Warner, Paramount, CBS, Everest, and others. There is content in local Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali.
From the US, Amazon is bringing TV shows such as Mr. Robot, The Grand Tour, The BI, The Man in the High Castle and more. The e-commerce giant has also partnered with Indian content creators to bring original content to India.
What are the new original shows announced by Amazon for India?
Among the original shows announced are:
· Bodhidharma: Master of Shaolin, to be produced by Ram Madhvani, Prasoon Joshi and Sunil Doshi
· Breathe, to be produced by Vikram Malhotra, and starring R Madhvan and Amit Sadh;
· The Ministry, to be made by AIB and OML
· Powerplay, to be produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, and starring Vivek Oberoi and Richa Chadda
· Mirzapur, to be produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar
· Stardust, to be produced by Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl
· The Family Man, to be produced by DK Krishna and Raj Nidimoru
· Vishpuri, to be produced by Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Madhu Mantena
· Made in Heaven, to be produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti.
Amazon announced at the event that more partnerships are in the offing though the show titles and formats have not yet been decided.
Speaking of the competition in India, Tim Leslie, VP of Amazon Digital Video, sounded confident.
"We have the best and the widest content library to offer," he told HuffPost India. "We are catering to many languages and many types of shows. We are pretty sure that Indian consumers will enjoy the experience."
"Amazon is using top-notch technology to provide the best customer experience. We have the Amazon Web Service (AWS) servers in India which would aid our services and would help in cache-ing the shows here as well," Leslie added.
While there was enthusiasm all around, the Amazon team avoided questions about meeting specific targets or its current customer base. It also diplomatically avoided answering when asked about the lack of Chromecast support.
"We are constantly evolving and evaluating the situation," said Nitesh Kripalani, Director and Country Head, Amazon Video India. "The low price is a great incentive for the Indian consumers. India is a country crazy about entertainment content. We are bringing the best content in global and the local sense."
There have been reports about Amazon bidding for live streaming India's biggest cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL) online. But Kripalani avoided saying anything specific on the topic.
"Sports is certainly big in India," he said. "But we have just started and we will evaluate the response of the customers. If we see that sports is a great fit, we'd be gladly bringing it to the platform."
The Amazon Prime Video launch puts the company in a different category, compared to Indian e-commerce portals such as Flipkart or Snapdeal. While both the Indian firms offer premium membership programs, only delivery is the part of the service. Amazon is hoping that its dual package of delivery benefits and video streaming would bring a lot of consumers on board.
Amazon has begun its grocery delivery service Amazon Now in four cities, namely Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, and Hyderabad. While Flipkart has shut its grocery delivery app, Nearby, it is still keen to get back into the sector.
The Amazon Prime Video service is also taking on the top streaming services such as Netflix and Hotstar in India.