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Amazon India to launch Prime video streaming service

amazon-videoAmazon, one of India’s top two online retailers, sent out a teaser today with a promise that Amazon Prime Video is coming soon to India.

Prime video is a service like Netflix that streams TV shows, films and other content.

The service was launched in the United States ten years ago.

At present, Amazon Video is currently only available to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Austria.

It is possible that Amazon could also launch its Fire TV set-top-box in India as well.

The video streaming service will compete with Hotstar, owned by Rupert Murdoch, and India’s most successful streaming app.

It will also compete with JioTV, which has the support of India’s largest 4G operator Reliance Jio behind it, and a clutch of other services including Netflix and HOOQ.

However, unlike these services, Amazon’s Prime Video has a key advantage — its large repertoire of English-language content.

Globally, Amazon video and Netflix are the top sources of quality content on the Internet.

In India, Hotstar has managed to compete well with Netflix thanks to a tie-up with HBO and its own in-house content from Fox and other Murdoch-related companies.

PRICING

The success of the venture would depend on two factors — how much of the premium content available globally is served up in India, and what the price will be.

Amazon’s Prime membership in the country is priced at just 499 rupees per year (or about $7.5). It is likely that Prime video will be bundled with the Prime service, either for free or for a fee.

The 499 offer, however, is inclusive of initial discounts and the regular price of Prime in India is Rs 999 per year.

In comparison, Hotstar, which offers a wide selection of top content from American television, is priced at Rs 199 per month, or about 1,188 per year.

The launch of the streaming service is also likely to increase subscription for the regular Prime package, which offers free deliveries and early access to certain flash sales.

With the increasing penetration of high-speed Internet in India, many youngsters are ‘cutting the cable’ and turning to the Internet to get their favorite content.

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