Amazon has long said that its online delivery service, Prime Video, contributes to increased revenue on the shopping app. Now, the e-commerce behemoth is experimenting with adding a video subscription service straight to the shopping app.
The e-commerce company, which introduced an ad-supported streaming service (IMDb TV) in the United States two years earlier, launched MiniTV, an ad-supported video streaming service that is “fully open” inside the Amazon India app, on Saturday. According to Amazon, MiniTV is now only accessible to consumers in India.
MiniTV would initially showcase web series, comedy shows, and content centred on tech news, health, beauty, and apparel, according to Amazon. Some of the latest titles are created by TVF and Pocket Aces, two of India’s largest online studios, or supplied by comedians such as Ashish Chanchlani, Amit Bhadana, Round2Hell, Harsh Beniwal, Shruti Arjun Anand, Elvish Yadav, Prajakta Koli, Swagger Sharma, Aakash Gupta, and Nishant Tanwar.
The analysis discovered that most of MiniTV’s library is old material, some of which content partners initially created for other networks or distributed on their own YouTube channels. Aspirants, for example, is a show created by TVF in partnership with the online learning education startup Unacademy.
“Viewers will be updated on the new items and trends by Trakin Engineering, as well as fashion and beauty experts Sejal Kumar, Malvika Sitlani, Jovita George, Prerna Chhabra, and ShivShakti. Foodies can appreciate material from Kabita’s Kitchen, Cook with Nisha, and Gobble.
MiniTV will include even more fresh and unique videos in the coming months,” the organization said, without revealing its potential roadmap plans. (Amazon started quietly adding feedback and other online clippings — from media houses — on its shopping service in India more than two years ago.)
MiniTV is now accessible on Amazon’s Android platform and will be available on the iOS app and mobile network in the coming months, according to Amazon.
Amazon’s decision is close to that of Walmart’s Flipkart, the company’s main competitor in India, which launched a video streaming service inside its platform in 2019. Several Indian companies, including Zomato and Paytm, have investigated introducing a video offering to their own applications in recent years.
In recent years, Amazon has also actively pushed to increase its Prime Video products in India.
The group, which recently partnered with Airtel to introduce a new monthly mobile-only, single-user, standard definition (SD) tier (for $1.22), has acquired rights to stream some cricket matches in the region. Amazon Prime Video is now available in India as part of the Amazon Prime subscription. The plan costs 999 Indian rupees ($13.6) a year which provides a subscription to Amazon Music as well as quick shipping.
According to web insight company App Annie, Prime Video had more than 60 million monthly active users in India in April, surpassing Netflix’s 40 million users (data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch). Netflix, which invested approximately $420 million on locally generated Indian content in 2019 and 2020, announced in March that it will spend “significantly more this year” in India. In the company’s most recent earnings call, founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings said that investment in India is more “speculative” than in other markets.
During the same time frame, Times Internet’s MX Player, which also offers an ad-supported streaming service, had over 180 million subscribers, while Disney+ Hotstar had over 120 million. In India, their major rival is YouTube, which has over 450 million monthly active users.
Aside from rivalry, video streaming providers in India face another obstacle. In late March, Amazon released a rare apology to consumers in the South Asian country for an initial political drama film, alleging that a few scenes in the nine-part miniseries had offended certain people’s religious feelings.
Amazon’s apologies come only days after New Delhi issued new guidelines for on-demand content streaming sites and social network companies.