3 Major Differences Between Netflix & Amazon Prime’s Approach To Tap On-Demand Entertainment Sector In India


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Right now, Indian entertainment sector is witnessing an all-time high of growth and demand. As per our analysis, the sector will churn out revenues worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore by the end of 2016, thereby maintaining an impressive growth rate of 10-12% year on year.

However, within the vast entertainment sector, there is a sub-set of on-demand entertainment accessed via internet on mobile and desktop. And this is the sector to look out for. We had earlier reported that this sector is growing at a breakneck speed right now, and between 2015 and 2016, digital content increased by whooping 500% in India, which speaks volume about the demand and the supply.

On-demand videos on digital medium is a competitive sector, and some of the heavyweights of this industry are right now battling it out to prove their dominance. Among them, Netflix and Amazon Studios are the two players to watch out for, because their whole business model is based on generating subscription revenue from on-demand entertainment, mainly videos, and the fight is intense.

Here are three different paths chosen by these two biggies of digital entertainment to tap the booming Indian market:

Global Vs Local Approach

On one hand, Netflix is relying on their global experience of delivering on-demand content to more than 80 million subscribers all over the world; Amazon is relying on local sentiments, and aiming to tap their vast user base of 60 million Amazon Prime subscribers all over the world via localized content.

For example, Amazon Studios has inked deals with Graphic India in Hindi and English, and regional languages Tamil and Telugu for producing a new animated series called ‘’Baahubali: The Lost Legends”, which is based on the blockbuster movie Bahubali.

Besides, they have also collaborated with Farhan Akhtar to produce a forthcoming drama called ‘Power Play’, story about a cricket team owner. This clearly reflects the fact that Amazon is aiming to target local sentiments of Indian audience, and their deep focus on going hyperlocal with content.

On the other hand, Netflix had purchased rights for “Brahman Naman,” at Sundance Film Festival. This was a series on a road trip undertaken by teenagers to lose their virginity. A concept derived straight from Hollywood’s cliche`coming of age stories.

Data Centric Vs Traditional Approach

Netflix is relying on their massive database of viewers watching habits, accumulated by studying their millions of users from all over the world. When Phantom Films finalized their deal to produce ‘Sacred Games’, an adaptation of popular novel based on Mumbai crime, the deal was inked at Los Angeles, not Mumbai.

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said, “There’s no point in us trying to out-Bollywood Bollywood at this point,”

On the other hand, Amazon Studios chief Roy Price in a recent visit to Mumbai had personally visited Amitabh Bachchan’s home, Shahrukh Khan’s home and even attended a shooting session of a Bollywood movie.

Price Points

Finally, the price. If Netflix is targeting the niche, urbane customers, then Amazon Prime is looking for a mass-market approach.

Netflix is charging Rs 500 per month (starting plan), which is way more than Amazon Prime’s Rs 80 per month plan, which also includes free shipping of ecommerce orders and more features.

Comparably, a typical cable connection in India costs Rs 200-250.

As per Netflix’s CEO, they are looking for ‘iPhone owners’ and ‘Western-oriented elites’, who can afford Rs 500+ rental for on-demand entertainment.

It would be really interesting to observe, how these two major players respond to market sentiments, and the onslaught of other players which include Hotstar, Balaji Telefilms’ Balaji ALT, BSNL-Tata Sky partnership for on-demand videos, Zee’s OZEE, Hooq and more on the way.

Between Amazon Prime and Netflix, which one will be your choice? Do let us know by commenting right here!

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