Amazon Prime Video to premiere 9 movies across 5 Indian languages
Gaurav Gandhi, Director & Country General Manager, and Vijay Subramaniam, Director & Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India share more on the launches and how movies help to get new audiences
Amazon Prime Video has announced a brand new slate of nine highly-anticipated movies that will premiere directly on the streaming service. Spanning five Indian languages, the diverse line-up features Coolie No. 1, Chhalaang, Durgavati, Bheema Sena Nala Maharaja (Kannada), Middle Class Melodies (Telugu), Maara (Tamil), and Manne Number 13 (Kannada) along with previously announced Zakariya Mohammed’s Halal Love Story (Malayalam) andSoorarai Pottru (Tamil).
The movies will premiere exclusively on Prime Video within 2020 and will be available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
“These movies were made primarily for wide theatrical release. We were able to collaborate with the producers and get them to understand the value of a worldwide premiere at a time when theaters are shut, and they responded rather enthusiastically. Amazon Prime Video India has become the theatre for all customers right now for these films,” said Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India.
Subramaniam further added, “We were fortunate that we had a robust content line-up which includes all originals that we released from Four More Shots Please, Breathe Into the Shadows, to Bandish Bandits and Paatal Lok. We also had a strong international content catalog along with some award winning films like Joker and Parasite. During the lockdown when theatres were shut, we saw this opportunity to bring big films, which were ready for the theatrical releases, to the homes of the customers. Hence, we released 10 films during that period and now given the success of those releases, we are moving forward with bigger releases in coming months.”
The new slate follows the successful launch of the first wave of direct-to-service premiere of 10 films across five languages, which led to Amazon Prime Video expanding its footprint in India with viewership for these movies coming from over 4000 cities and towns, across the country.
Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country General Manager, Amazon Prime Video India, shared, "During the lockdown, consumer had more time but limited options. Our calendar was super robust and we saw consumers spending more time watching a lot more different titles. We saw an increased consumption on living room devices. All the films we launched on Prime Video were watched more with families. We released our first seven films earlier. They were watched across the country-over 4,100 towns and cities in the country watched those movies. Another interesting fact was that in our local language films in Tamil, Telugu or Kannada, 50% of the viewing happened outside the home state. This means that customers are discovering content across languages. For instance, we have Korean version of Parasite that is also dubbed in Hindi. Fundamentally, consumers watch a lot more content, different kinds of content across languages and with family as well.”
The streaming platform in the past few months has launched a number of web-series. Speaking about the impact of pandemic on the priorities of the Amazon Prime Video, Subramaniam said both movies and series are equally important for the platform. “Due to pandemic, all productions, including Amazon Original Series, were impacted. Our priority hasn’t changed and we are incredibly committed to our series content and we have very exciting launches. On October 23, we are launching our much awaited series Mirzapur season 2. What has changed now is that we are working with producers which have mainstream films awaiting release and enabling their worldwide premiere on Prime Video, while providing great content to our customers.”
The fact that theatres are yet to open owing to COVID-19 gives an opportunity to OTT platforms to attract new consumers through big mainstream releases. Though Gandhi refused to share the subscribers' number, he said, “Yes, we do get new audiences through these world premieres and our existing customers also engaged heavily with these titles. Each movie that we launched on Prime Video has gone far wide and deep in the country and not just in India. For instance, the first set of movies that were released was actually watched in 180 countries in the first few weeks. Apart from going really deep in India, they were also watched internationally. Also, we were very fortunate to have had a robust content slate over the last six months - customers come to watch one thing but they stay and explore other content as well.”
He further added, “One thing that differentiates us is that we are part of a larger prime programme which is not just video but also, shopping, shipping, music and reading books. The customers come for one benefit and they enjoy the other as well. The whole package of all our benefits and our content library across movies and series makes for a very compelling value-proposition and something that customers really love.”
Agreeing with Gandhi, Subramnian shared, “50% viewership coming from outside of the home state straightway explains the number of new people viewing great pieces of content.”
The trend we have witnessed during this lockdown period is that OTT consumption has rapidly grown as people stay at home. Speaking on the trend post pandemic, Gandhi shared, “Two things will help us to sustain growth when things will get back to normal. Firstly, customers might have less time than when compared to the current situation. Customer's habit of watching premium quality video will not change, like watching high quality cinematic series and various films at a default destination and getting used to watching high quality cinematic series.”
“Secondly, we continue to invest in content. For example in the last three months, we are coming off the success of multiple series like The Boys, Paatal Lok and the 10 films. We feel very good and confident about our content line-up,” concluded Gandhi.
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