W Power 2024

Prime Video unveils its biggest content slate with close to 70 movies and series

With a very successful 2023, the streaming giant continues to invest big time in content across Indian languages

Naini Thaker
Published: Mar 20, 2024 03:26:32 PM IST
Updated: Apr 3, 2024 04:08:02 PM IST

	Still from Prime Video's content slate launch. Still from Prime Video's content slate launch.

On Tuesday, streaming platform Prime Video unveiled a diverse slate of content, with close to 70 movies and series across languages. Ranging across genres, from comedy and horror  to musical drama and action, these originals are expected to premiere over the next two years. This is in addition to movies across languages from some of India’s most prestigious film studios that will come to the service after their theatrical premieres.

“At Prime Video, our focus has been to super-serve Indian customers with the best of entertainment across formats,” said Sushant Sreeram, country director, Prime Video, India. “Our content broke new grounds in 2023, helping India remain a frontrunner in new customer adoption and Prime member engagement, across international locales.”

The new slate includes new original series such as Citadel: Honey Bunny (Hindi) and Inspector Rishi (Tamil) to The Revolutionaries (Hindi) and The Rana Connection (Telugu); as well as returning series including fan favourites: Mirzapur Season 3 (Hindi), Paatal Lok Season 2 (Hindi), Suzhal—The Vortex Season 2 (Tamil) among many others.

“At Prime Video, it has been our ongoing mission to be a global showcase for diverse, authentic and rooted Indian stories that can transcend linguistic and geographical borders,” said Aparna Purohit, head of originals, India and Southeast Asia, Prime Video. Close to eight original movies were also announced, including Be Happy (Hindi), Cheekati Lo (Telugu), Supermen of Malegaon (Hindi), The Mehta Boys (Hindi) and more. “In just 2023, our content was watched in over 210 countries and territories, in any given week, and trended in the top 10 on Prime Video worldwide for 43 of the last 52 weeks. It has been gratifying to witness the national and global impact of our shows and movies, and this fuels us to further champion Indian content on the global stage,” adds Purohit.

Present at the event was Prime Video’s global leadership team, including Mike Hopkins, Head of Prime Video & Amazon MGM Studios. During his conversation with director and producer Karan Johar, he spoke about the importance of India for the company, globally. He said: “As we look at the next 250 million subscribers that we're going to acquire, they are definitely going to come from outside of the United States. And we're not going to be able to achieve that unless we do a really good job for customers in India as well.” Edited excerpts from the conversation:

On Prime Video’s business model

We have a unique business model at Amazon. But, for our entertainment business, it really does start with Prime and the many benefits that come with the Prime membership. With Prime Video, customers can find their favourite movies and series all under one roof, whether you're getting entertainment from Amazon, MGM Studios, our local partnerships, or things we've licensed around the world.

Over the last few years, content has been moving to streaming. People aren't always sure exactly where to go to get that movie, that TV series, or even that sport, depending on where they are in the world. So, one of the things we've spent a lot of time thinking about is how we can put all of that together in one place for customers—which is not easy. We haven't succeeded everywhere in the world yet, in putting all of their streaming content into one application. We've approached streamers all over the world to join Prime Video; you can subscribe to them inside of our application.

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We've also built the world's largest TVOD store, so more people rent and buy movies on Prime Video than any other store in the world. And then, if you're not a subscriber or if you don't want to subscribe to something, we also offer an array of AVOD content where you can watch TV and films without a subscription. We do that for the brand ‘Free V’ around the world, and here in India, we have ‘Mini TV’, which is available on Prime Video and on our retail site. Speaking of Mini TV, our business is doing really well, where we've grown 4x in overall watch time since 2023.

On India being a key market

India is a key geographic area for us. We also believe in the story of India and the growth that's been happening here over the last several years. When I think about streaming television and I think of India, what's remarkable is that I've heard many people say this week that more people are streaming TV and film than they're watching it on linear television on satellite cable. And what's remarkable about that is that streaming has only really existed for seven or eight years. So this is all happening remarkably fast.

Indian content was also watched in over 210 countries and territories worldwide on Prime Video. For the last several years, we've been making a lot of progress in India. For instance, outside of the US, more people have signed up for Prime in India than anywhere else in the world, which clearly indicates great growth. And, in India people are signing up for Prime because of Prime Video. In fact, in the last year, India had the highest percentage of Prime members who streamed Prime Video than any other country in the world.

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At Amazon, we've used this phrase; it's always Day 1. I mean, it is really Day 1 in streaming in India and around the world. But India is also a content hub. People have been making great television and film in India, long before a streaming service launched.

We're also an innovation hub. I'm going down to Bengaluru, and I can't wait to get down there and see all the innovations, they're planning for our servers and our product because, obviously, the programming is super important. And no one's going to open up an application just for the product and the tech that's behind it. But it sure makes it a lot better when the service is easy to use and responsive.

On Prime Video’s content strategy

We make local programming in many countries around the world, but the core tenet for us is that if it doesn't work in the country you're making it, you probably shouldn't be making it. And so that's where we start: How can we still tell authentic stories with creators in the country that resonate with customers in India? If we can do that, and it can work outside of the country. We've really knocked it out of the park.

Shows that are working the best for us, both here and internationally, are Farzi, Indian Police Force, Poacher, The Family Man, Made in Heaven, and many more that resonate all over the world. We have a lot going on with teams doing a great job not only here in India but back in the States, where we produce a lot of our global programming. Today, we have over 200 million Prime members around the world in 240 countries. From a global perspective, we couldn't be more excited to deliver some global tentpole programming this year. We've got the second season of The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power, coming this year, among many others. We've got another season of The Boys coming. We're super excited about Citadel Honey Bunny, which is a local franchise.