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APOS '17: India’s share of local original shows high, says Nitesh Kripalani

BALI: Amazon Prime, a global OTT player targeting one of Asia’s biggest markets in terms of size and numbers, feels that, in India, localisation of the content and service would drive subscriber numbers and viewing time.

Pointing out that Amazon launched the Fire TV stick in India recently with a “localised” experience for consumers, Amazon Prime India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani said, “We localise it from having a voice mode, which can search content not only in English but also in Hindi. We localized it where you can monitor your data usage.”

Kripalani, who was speaking at Media Partners Asia-organized APOS 2017 in Bali on `India: Placing Bets On New Pipes And Old’ said the strategy of localisation of content in local languages and local payment methods for subscription is being followed depending on consumer feedback. Continuing on localisation, including original content, Kripalani admitted that India was the only market where Amazon has “announced larger number of original shows” in local languages.

“We have already announced 18 shows for India; first one is coming very soon. We want to change the way how creators create content. We want them to think unconstrained, we are asking them to go back and take a look at those projects they were wanting to make (but were not able to),” he explained, adding the content that his company was encouraging was essentially something with a feature film quality but made in an episodic format.

Amazon Fire TV stick not only gives the `local’ feel and experience, but also enables subscribers to watch high quality 4K content from Prime Video library and other content providers too on the big screen.

Because piracy, like in India, is a global phenomenon, Kripalani said Amazon’s goal is to “enable latest movies and TV shows” made available legally and the Indian entertainment market was big enough for such moves.

Kripalani pointed out that Amazon Prime looked at some of the problems of customers in India on availability of content on multiple services and set about working out a strategy with the goal to bring about change in the way creators created content and created universal shows that customers cared for. Customers, he added, anywhere in the world had similar demands --- they care about content selection, they care about reliability and convenient of access and the third was value.

Dwelling on the journey till now in one of the most exciting but complex market in Asia, Kripalani said that in four months the response from consumers had been very encouraging. “I think success will be if we build our super small market…and the way premium content is consumed (and) that will be a measure of the success.

“We are very excited with the growth of Fire TV stick and other products that we may bring in and, of course, we are looking at how the entire ecosystem is built in India, “Kripalani concluded, saying that the company is working across an array of India languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi, apart from English, for content development and the way service is available in India.

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