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Amazon Prime Video to switch on reality shows

Reality shows are popular format across genres, Amazon is plugging a gap in content line-up

Viveat Susan Pinto  |  Mumbai 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at a conference | Photo: Reuters

In a first for a video-on-demand (VOD) service in India, Prime Video, part of the Jeff Bezos-led platform, will venture into reality shows, launching three by the first quarter of 2018. The move is significant since it raises the content game on VOD platforms in India, opening a new front in the battle for eyeballs that has heated up between players, such as Netflix, Prime and Hotstar, over the last few months.

Vijay Subramaniam, director (content), Prime Video India, says, “We are looking at new ways to engage with consumers. Indians enjoy reality TV. So, we are creating new originals with new concepts and local talent in this regard.”

James Farrell, head of content, Prime Video, Asia-Pacific says, “are a popular format across genres, and with the launch of these new shows, we are plugging a gap in our content line-up here.”

The three shows include a reality music competition called The Remix, a travelling comedy, Jestination Unknown, and a comedy talent hunt, Comic Kaun. Prime Video is likely to step up its reality shows’ line-up next year after gauging the initial response to these new shows.

So far, content acquisition on VOD platforms has been largely restricted to acquiring movie titles, hit shows and sports properties in India, besides producing original drama series, such as Inside Edge (by Prime Video) or Sacred Games (by Netflix). 

But, consumers have been aggressively taking to in the country, thanks to the growing penetration of smartphones and falling data prices, pushing for new and interesting content on VOD platform, experts tracking the market said.

While the VOD market in India is currently estimated at around Rs 1,400-1,500 crore in terms of value, this is expected to more than double in the next few years, prompting streaming majors, such as Netflix, Prime Video and Hotstar, to invest heavily in acquiring content. Also, with Reliance Jio launching 4G-enabled feature phones, the market is expected to boom, say experts, as more consumers look to sample these services in the future.

The first eight months of 2017 has already seen both Prime Video and grabbing big movie titles, such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, Lipstick Under My Burkha and Salman Khan's Tubelight, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kick and Jai Ho, among others. 

All of these will be streamed on Prime Video. Netflix, on the other hand, has a tie-up with Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment for the actor's films and has recently bought the streaming rights of Aamir Khan’s Dangal as well as SS Rajmouli’s Baahubali series.

While has not indicated its plans for yet, it recently announced two new original drama series from India called Selection Day and Again.

First Published: Thu, August 24 2017. 01:59 IST
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