Content has scaled and our marketing matches it: Vijay Subramaniam, Amazon Prime Video

Vijay Subramaniam, Director & Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video India, on their fifth original series Mirzapur, shaping the regional content strategy, banking on comedy genre and future line-up

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Nov 20, 2018 8:44 AM Updated: Nov 20, 2018 8:44 AM
Mirzapur

Amazon Prime Video’s latest gangster saga Mirzapur has been creating quite a buzz. The international streaming service has not left any stone unturned in marketing it, be it TV, print or OOH. The latest in the list is a musical anthem which has been launched across digital platforms. There are plans to put it on radio as well.

Talking about the various marketing initiatives, Vijay Subramaniam, Director & Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video India, said “It’s important to understand that content has scaled cinematically. And our marketing matches that."

The fifth Prime original series Mirzapur, by Excel Media & Entertainment, was launched on November 16. It is a gritty nine-part show revolving around drugs, guns and the politics in the heartland of India. It is being seen as Amazon’s answer to its competitor Netflix’s first original series Sacred Games.

The Content Head is sure that the series will make a mark not only in India but globally as well. “It happened with Breathe. 40 per cent of viewers came from outside India for it,” said Subramaniam.

When it comes to OTT, there is an increasing emphasis on regional languages since it’s now clear that the next wave of consumers are coming from tier-II & III cities and hinterland. Around 70 per cent of the content on Amazon Prime Video is local. Moreover, it recently added Hindi user interface along with search, navigation and customer support in the language on the app and desktop site. Further, from November 1, the platform added content in Kannada. It also piloted its first original regional series Gangstars (Telugu) in June.

Subramaniam shared that a certain strategy is followed for regional languages.

“A new language is introduced in the platform with a large slate of movies since customers come seeking movies. Once we get a good understanding of taste and preferences, we start looking at other forms of content, including originals. After having operated for a year in Tamil and Telugu languages, we looked at the opportunity to produce some series. Gangstars in Telugu was first. There’s one more coming up in Tamil by the end of this month,” he said. “By putting these out, we are hoping to learn and understand consumers’ tastes, likes and dislikes. Once we have that, we will definitely scale it up further and add more originals in regional languages,” he added.

Going ahead, Amazon Prime Video is undoubtedly banking on comedy as they have a slew of upcoming properties in the genre. Subramanium offered, "We have a show with Zakir Khan coming up next week. We went from 12 specials to 30 now. Season two of Comicstaan is currently under production. We are looking at developing more comedy formats.”

In original content, Amazon Prime Video India has lined up 4 More Shots Please, a 10-part fiction series by Pritish Nandy Communications and Made in Heaven directed by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. In 2019, it’s planning to launch nine original series in Hindi. Subramanium added, “We are going to scale that even further in 2020.

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