Amazon India is aggressively partnering with major Indian movie production houses to acquire exclusive rights for their existing as well as upcoming movie titles. Last week alone, it announced two major partnerships. The eCommerce giant is expected to time the launch of Prime Video with the festival of Diwali, which falls on Oct. 30 this year.
The company has announced a partnership with filmmaker SS Rajamouli, Graphic India and Arka Mediaworks to spin off blockbuster Bollywood movie, ‘Baahubali’, into a new multi-episode animated series called ‘Baahubali: The Lost Legends’. Released last year, ‘Baahubali’ has raked in more than $90 million in the box office.
Last week Amazon India also inked a deal with T-Series, one of India’s largest movie production and distribution studios. The tie-up will give Amazon India exclusive streaming rights of future titles from T-Series, ahead of their television premiere. The company said it will make these movies available for streaming within a few weeks of their theatrical release in India.
The new tie-ups illustrate the opportunities Amazon sees in India. Last month, Amazon India also partnered with Dharma Productions, one of India’s largest movie studios. As part of the licensing deal, Dharma Productions will provide Amazon with select blockbuster titles including ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,’ ‘Ok Jaanu,’ and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania.’ Last month, it also partnered with Vishesh Films, another large film production house in India, to get exclusive access to all of its 53 titles.
Amazon Prime Video will also compete with local on-demand streaming services such as Hotstar, Voot, and Eros Now. Amazon India is also reportedly in talks with Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s production house Excel Entertainment for its first original show, ‘Power Play,’ according to Economic Times. The company is also exploring rights for online streaming of Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, the publication added. This could help Amazon distinct itself from Netflix, which entered India earlier this year. Netflix doesn’t offer live streaming services, yet.
Netflix has also shown interest in licensing and producing local content for the Indian market. Earlier this year, it snapped rights for Quashik Mukherjee’s nerd comedy ‘Brahman Naman‘ at Sundance, and released it globally in July.
Last month, the company announced Indian comedian Vir Das is getting his own Netflix Original Comedy Special. Netflix is also working with Indian film production and distribution company Phantom Films to make English and Hindi adaptations of ‘Sacred Games’ by Indian author Vikram Chandra.
Amazon Prime Video will also compete with local on-demand streaming services such as Hotstar, Voot, and Eros Now.