Amazon brings new titles to India amid global cutbacks

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of Amazon Prime Video during a launch event in Mumbai, India, April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo Inc. will release more than 70 new television shows and films on its Indian streaming platforms in the coming years as it seeks new subscribers and fights rivals, including Netflix Inc. and a new giant created by the merger of local media operations of Reliance Industries Ltd. and Walt Disney Co.

“As we look at the next 250 million subscribers, they are definitely going to come from outside of the United States,” Mike Hopkins, senior vice president at Prime Video & Amazon MGM Studios told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. “India is a key geography for us.”

The American streaming behemoth, which has been cutting back operations globally, continues to double down in the nation with more than 1.4 billion consumers and one of the fastest-growing entertainment markets that’s also rapidly consolidating. More people have signed up for Amazon Prime in India than anywhere else in the world for the last several years, Hopkins said.

The Disney-Reliance combination is projected to capture 47% of the online streaming segment in India – about 244 million users – dwarfing Amazon’s India subscriber base of 45 million and Netflix’s 42 million as of January, according to data from Virginia-based data analytics firm Comscore.

Amazon Prime will be bringing back its popular Hindi web series including Mirzapur, Paatal Lok, Panchaayat and a local chapter of Citadel, its $300 million spy thriller. It will also be backing titles in other Indian regional languages as it seeks a larger market share locally.

The emphasis on India comes on the heels of a global shake up among US media companies. As of last year, Amazon has shelved dozens of projects and laid off more than 27,000 employees across its content division, Twitch and the voice-assistant Alexa team. The company has pared the size of its originals team in Singapore, according to a Jan. 12 report by Deadline.

India’s media and entertainment market is expected to reach $37.4 billion by 2026 from $27.9 billion in 2023, according to a March report by EY.



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