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Amazon India seasonal sale boosts Prime Video subscribers

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Mumbai: Amazon's bet seems to have paid off. In the past few weeks, it has been accumulating original content and striking content licensing deals. Amazon had been firming up its content strategy by tying up with several Bollywood production houses for original TV shows and films while it was gearing up for its Prime Video service launch in India. Among the few notable deals it has made were with Dharma Productions and T-Series. Amazon Prime Video, the paid subscription service of Amazon India, yesterday emerged as the highest selling product for the e-tailer.

Amazon's five-day festive season sale period ended on Wednesday, and one out every three units sold was membership of Prime Videos, Amazon India country manager, Amit Agarwal, told FE. The e-tailer moreover claims to have sold more than 5 million units over a period of five days. The paid subscribers of Amazon Prime will be default users of the video streaming service called Prime Videos.

After the entry of global video over-the-top (OTT) player like Netflix in India early this year, Amazon is the second large player to announce the launch of its video streaming service in India. Amazon India is presently selling the membership at a 50 per cent discounted rate of Rs 499 for a year.

“Despite a slump in the market, Amazon India has been growing at a rate of 150% over the the last three years. This sale was three times bigger and 30 times bigger than last Diwali,” said Agarwal. Mobile, fashion and lifestyle and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) were the other top selling categories on the platform during the sale period.

The e-tailers claim that mobile saw a five times jump in number of orders placed apart from television which grew by 25 times. While large appliances saw a seven times growth in terms of sale.

According to Agarwal, the platform saw a five times growth in the number of new customers who came online to shop, compared to last year. Tier 2 and smaller towns contributed to 70% of the orders. Agarwal added that during the festive season sale period, Amazon continued to witness high traffic both on the website as well as on its mobile app. “80% of the traffic came through mobile. In fact, the app recorded seven time growth in direct traffic,” he explained.

Amazon has also signed deals with Excel Entertainment to create original TV shows for the platform and with Vishesh Films for its film catalogue. Given the backdrop of competition in the OTT space, Amazon is also reportedly participating in the IPL tender with a keen interest to bid for the digital rights.

As a result of the partnerships with T-Series, Amazon Prime members would soon enjoy a wide variety of some of the best Bollywood movies in the country, all within a few weeks of their theatrical release, said Amazon Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had announced that the company would be investing an additional $3 billion in India, taking the total investment to more than $5 billion. It reportedly plans to invest around $300 million in producing original content for India. Amazon had launched its Prime subscription service in India in July.

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