Amazon Prime Video is riding high on the success of its originals and has launched Four More Shots Please to welcome the new year. Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India talks about the platform’s content strategy and more.
According to the BCG report, the OTT market in India, which is now pegged at $0.5 billion, will grow to be $5 billion by 2023. The factors attributed to this growth lie in the range of – increasing mobile penetration, Jio revolution, evolving content consumption patterns, and more.
To match up with the changing market scenario and grab a bigger share of the OTT pie in India, Amazon Prime Video, India is geared up to start 2019 with yet another original, ‘Four More Shots Please’, an urban tale about 4 imperfect, modern Indian women.
In a quick chat, Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India on the sidelines of the launch event reveals Amazon Prime Video’s current content strategy, the mantra for sustainability and much more.
Rationale behind launching Four More Shots Please?
The best signal we get is from our own customers. We have a wide range of customers who have different and varied taste. It’s important to try and create stories which resonate with each of those taste and preferences and Four More Shots Please is a classic example of us going out there. Every show needs to have a unique fingerprint and Four more shots please is a story that I wish I would have told earlier. With this, we have aimed to not only communicate to the urban folks but anyone who would want to lean on and watch and learn from it.
We have just ushered into the new year. What are your key takeaways from 2018
Though it’s very early days of the new year for us, we started ramping our catalogue very significantly. I think the biggest takeaway is to being customer-centric, being able to recognise and stay lock-stepped with the evolving tastes and preferences of the customers. Also, take those inputs and reflect in the content selection that we make. If you look at our film selection it just went brighter, bigger and that’s what our customers want from us – the latest and greatest contest.
Our originals – we ramped up from one show in 2017 to 5 shows in 2018. We understand that trajectory and it’s important to keep going on that path. Also, we understand the diversity of this country and so we added Kannada to our offerings last year and will continue that by adding more regional content – currently we have six Indian languages and will add more in the next six months.
What is your content strategy especially when it comes to originals?
Authenticity is what we are focusing on. It is one of the key drivers for people to lean in. In case take Four More Shots Please. There are zero euphemisms. It’s how women talk to one another and that’s what we have brought to the screens. We are not making caricatures, not paying dip service, so that’s how authentic and being critical is to connect with people across geographies, borders, and continents. We have found that in a world where the boundaries are blurring, people are leaning in and they love to see content that is authentic to its core. We proved that with Breathe which is the story of a desperate father and to what extent ordinary people go to save their loved ones put in extraordinary situations- the content that at an emotional core connects with everyone. We did that with Comicstaan – here this is the comedy in your face and people loved Mirzapur for the same reason- authenticity.
I think we need to be more committed and make our stories more authentic, return with seasons and make them a success. We are playing very close with authenticity and the evolving taste and preferences of consumers while being evolutionary. We need to also always reflect that whilst maintaining the highest creative standard. It’s a tri-factor and a very exciting one.
How is Amazon Prime differentiating itself from the constantly evolving OTT market and the cluttered space?
Amazon Prime remains focussed on our customers and what they want. As long as we are able to provide them a service which is accurate, has great user experience and great value (Rs.129 for a month and 999 for a year) I think that will always allow us to earn the respect of our customers and their engagement. It’s the dawn of day one for us and just the beginning. There is a long way to go. We are definitely going right in two ways- we are transforming the way Indian customers are consuming content and equally the way creators tell stories. I think both the things put together make for an exciting time.
Piracy is touted as one of the major challenges faced in the Indian ecosystem. Has it impacted the platform overall?
Our view is focused on providing customers with great experience and great value and automatically they will see the merit of doing something that gives them the convenience of doing it in a simple, easy and economical way. That will continue to be our stance and we also feel that customers are very smart who recognize if they are getting all of this on great value then there is no reason for them not to choose the legit option. That’s what we strive for. Through our content and the prime membership form is all about, today you get shipping, shopping, music, video, reading, etc. – all for Rs.129 for a month. People are here for value.