Prime Video Channels is a marketplace for video entertainment content: Chaitanya Divan

Divan, Head - Prime Video Channels, Amazon Prime Video, spoke about the new service launched today and how it will benefit the OTT ecosystem and consumers alike

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Sep 24, 2021 8:42 AM  | 9 min read
Chaitanya Divan

Starting today, Amazon has launched its global service Prime Video Channels in India. The intention is to create a video entertainment marketplace in India, which boasts of over 40 OTT platforms and counting. Prime Video Channels' primary aim is to offer friction-free and convenient access to a wide range of premium content from multiple video streaming services, all available at a single destination. Prime Video Channels will be part of the Prime Video app which comes bundled with Amazon Prime subscription.

Chaitanya Divan, Head Prime Video Channels, Amazon Prime Video, spoke to exchange4media about the new service and how it will benefit the OTT ecosystem and consumers alike.

Edited excerpts:

Tell us about the Prime Video Channels launch in India and the content partners that you have on-board?

We launch starting tomorrow, 24th September, with eight partners on-board including Lionsgate Play, Eros Now, Mubi, Discovery+, DocuBay, Shorts TV, Hoichoi, and Manorama Max. These eight partners bring almost 10,000 titles at launch and this spans the gamut of blockbuster cinema, art house films, documentaries from 100+ countries, award-winning short films, lifestyle and wildlife content, and of course premium local language content as well.

Globally, Prime Video Channels launched about five years back in the US and has expanded rapidly now to 11 countries. India is the twelfth country where we are launching. In this short period of time, it has also expanded to 350+ partners globally. This rapid expansion in selection that has happened is something that we are looking to do in India as well. So we are launching with these eight partners, but we have others in the pipeline, and we will continue expanding this selection.

Prime Video Channels is a marketplace for video entertainment content, and it brings together multiple partners all inside the Prime Video app. From a customer point of view, what it really does is it really delivers a selection of choosing content from different partners and the convenience of having all of this video, the ability to subscribe, the ability to discover content inside one app.

Why have big OTT platforms not signed up for this?

Today, Prime Video gets viewership from 99% of India's pin codes across 4,400 cities and towns. These customers engage very deeply with us. It allows us to get a very deep understanding of preferences, which is evident from the consistent hits that we have provided across our originals, licenced movies and TV shows. It's the same customer understanding that we have applied to our selection of launch partners. The different genres and languages that these language partners provide are catering to very specific of our customers, and they are desired for the kind of content, but over time we will continue expanding the selection, and we will continue listening to our customers. We will look to give them whatever content they want to watch.

You mentioned selection and convenience, will the consumers also get benefit as far as pricing is concerned?

Today, if I want to watch a movie, I have to jump from one app to another to figure out where that movie is available. Once I figure that out, then I have to create an account there, I have to enter my credit card details to start a subscription, and after that I get to watch a movie. That still is not the end of the story because if I want to watch that service on another device I can't do it because some apps don't work on all the devices. If it's a couple of months down the line, chances are that I have forgotten my password. All of that hassle which a customer faces is what Prime Video Channels is addressing. It's a single app, the convenience of easily discovering content, subscribing to services that you want, and you can pick and choose which services you want to watch. All of this gives control and convenience to the customer. That's what is the core benefit.

In terms of pricing, we are launching with annual plans. We have identified annual plans with our partners because the annual plan really provides the best value to customers. At launch, our partners are also offering price off as an introductory offer. We will listen to our customers whether they want monthly plans or other type of plans. We will expand the different offerings so that the ultimate choice is with customers.

How will your content partners benefit from this association?

Our partners will benefit in three categories. Prime Video has huge reach, and it is available on 100s of devices starting from all the smart TVs that are sold in the country, all the smartphones that are available in the country, personal devices like tablets, computers etc. Prime Video as an app is already on those devices and that's the first thing that partners get. This unparalleled reach which Prime Video brings and takes their content to customers everywhere. The second benefit is Prime Video's technology and streaming infrastructure that partners get access to. The third benefit is the solid global expertise that we have in customer service and billing in managing customer relationships. From a partner's point of view, the one thing they are very good at is creating content, but the benefits that I talked about are not skills that partners readily have. Amazon brings these benefits as ready suites to partners so that they can focus on creating great content. All the features that are available on Prime Video will be available for our partner content from day 1.

Since content consumption will happen on Prime Video app, your partners will not get the traffic and insights about how their content is performing. Is that correct?

Partners will be able to understand what content is working. We will always help our partners to make better informed choices on what kind of content to deliver to customers. If they are watching Lionsgate Play which has just launched Oscar winner 'The Father' and suddenly it gets a lot of viewing from our customer base then Lionsgate Play will know that.

What kind of arrangement do you have with OTT platforms?

I can't comment on the specific financials but yes there is a financial arrangement of course and why are partners happy to do that, it's because of the benefits that they get as well. Globally, most of the partners have extended their distribution deals with Prime Video Channels. In India, six out of the eight launch partners have worked with Amazon in other markets. They have seen the value that Prime Video channels has brought to them, and they are willing to extend the relationship to India as well. Hoichoi and Manorama Max are first time partners for us, and the remaining six have worked with us in other markets where we are present.

Right now, customers will have to subscribe to each OTT separately on Prime Video Channels. Is there a plan to create a bouquet which has all the services for a single price point?

We are launching with annual à la carte packs but like I said we will closely listen to our customers and if there is customer demand for any sort of packaging or offering which is different we will definitely roll that out.

Do you any plans to launch linear live TV channels on the platform?

That's not the focus right now. Does the technology exist? Yes. Is that the focus at launch? No. Our focus is partners who have VoD content. Today, customers are really benefiting and loving that on-demand experience. But if customers start demanding linear, then we can cater to that because we have the ability to do linear. Some of our partners like Discovery+ and Manorama Max also offer live TV channels in addition to on-demand content. On Prime Video Channels, if you subscribe to Manorama Max or Discovery+ you will get both VoD content and live TV channels.

Is live sports also part of your focus area?
Sports is a very interesting genre. We have invested in it. We have started with the cricket rights from New Zealand board and India tours twice to New Zealand in 2022 and later. This will be available as part of our Prime Video service. We are in talks with other partners who will launch soon and make live sports services available as part of Prime Video Channels. We will offer whatever our customers demand whether it is sports, mass entertainment, niches that are not available today.

What are the customer demands from an aggregation platform like Prime Video Channels?

The biggest pain point for customers is that while they want to watch a lot of content, it's not just easy for them to subscribe to or discover that content. Even after they have done subscriptions, the experiences vary since they have to jump from app to app. One big learning for us has been that customers want this unified experience of having all their preferred video in one place. It just makes life so easy for them. Prime Video Channels' aim is to make the journey to watch content friction free and what is left is story and the customer.

What kind of adoption do you expect for Prime Video Channels in India?

If global trends are to go by, then it has seen tremendous love from customers, large subscription growth for partners. We hope to replicate that in India. Jeff Bezos last year said that Prime Video is doing well all over the world, but nowhere is it doing any better than in India. Prime Video today is the most loved service in India and I think our partners and our partner content will also benefit from it.

OTT aggregation has become important in India due to proliferation of platforms?

We feel that the time is right for us to create a unified, simplified experience for our customers, and that's exactly what Prime Video Channels aims to do.

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Integral Ad Science launches verification programme for Netflix

This will ensure that ad campaigns on Netflix are free of fraud, and are seen by actual viewers

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 22, 2023 8:37 AM   |   1 min read


Integral Ad Science has launched Viewability and Invalid Traffic verification for Netflix. It will benefit those who have subscribed to the streaming platform's ad-supported plan.

The tool will ensure that ad campaigns on Netflix will be free of fraud, and are seen by actual viewers.  

The verification programme has gone live in 12 countries and across connected TV, computer and mobile platforms. 

This is part of Netflix’s agreement with IAS, which was announced in 2022.

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Amazon Prime Video & Jio front runners in race to host HBO content?

The agreement between Warner Bros Discovery and Disney+ Hotstar is believed to have come to an end as the former asked for an exorbitant fee of Rs 80 crore per year for HBO shows, say sources

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 22, 2023 8:27 AM   |   2 min read


Ever since Disney+ Hotstar decided not to renew its licencing agreement with Warner Bros Discovery, the latter has been looking for a home for HBO content. According to sources in the industry, HBO has been in talks with several OTT platforms in India. However, Jio Cinema and Amazon Prime Video are believed to be the front runners in the race.

"Initially, the content team of HBO was in talks with several OTT platforms, including Netflix, SonyLiv, Amazon Prime Video and Jio Cinema. But it is believed that Jio Cinema and Amazon Prime Video are ahead in the race. Whoever offers the best price, will seal the deal,” said a source close to the development. 

exchange4media reached out to HBO, Amazon Prime Video and Jio Cinema for an official comment, but is yet to receive a response.

It's important to note that Warner Bros. Discovery collaborated with Amazon Prime Video last year to offer a slate of 11 popular HBO Max Original series and 10 HBO Max original features exclusively for Prime members in India.

Disney+ Hotstar announced the end of its association with HBO through a tweet last week. “Starting 31st March, HBO content will be unavailable on Disney+Hotstar. You can continue enjoying Disney+ Hotstar’s vast library of content spanning over 100,000 hours of TV shows and movies in 10 languages and coverage of major global sporting events,” it stated.

As previously reported by exchange4media, the agreement between Disney+ Hotstar and Warner Bros Discovery got over after HBO demanded a fee of Rs 80 crore per year for its shows, say sources.

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India would be a great place for an offline experience: Ryan Latham, Nothing

The Global Director - Brand and Creative of consumer tech company Nothing spoke to e4m on the brand’s design and marketing philosophy, its brick-and-mortar plans in a digital future, and more

By Shantanu David | Mar 22, 2023 8:45 AM   |   5 min read


In a market and media-sphere where so many people so often talk about nothing, Nothing aims to start a whole new conversation. The London-based consumer technology company, backed by heavy hitters like GV (Google Ventures) and EQT Ventures, has created a tremendous amount of buzz in the industry, despite being barely two years old and having launched a soupcon of products.

With its striking minimalist visuals, unique imagery featuring exquisitely shot insects interacting with its devices, and reportedly superior performance and ergonomic capabilities, Nothing has become a focus brand for tech nerds and aesthetes alike.

With its Ear (2) set to be launched today (March 22), e4m spoke to Ryan Latham, Global Director, Brand and Creative, Nothing, during his India visit, about the brand’s design and marketing philosophy, the importance of the Indian market, and its brick-and-mortar plans in a digital future.

“It's great to be in the market to come and visit. We have this set-up where the teams from India travel to London, and we come here as well because you have to be in the market to experience it and to make sure you're tailoring your products to that consumer base,” says Latham, about his maiden India tour with Nothing.

“Besides expanding the market in Saudi Arabia, we are focusing on the Indian market. Also, we're European headquartered, so we've got key partnerships with the network operators and retailers across the UK, Germany, Spain and some of the core European markets. And we've also opened our very first store right in the heart of London's cultural scene,” he says.

Speaking about the Soho store, the company’s first brick-and-mortar store, Latham says that, somewhat paradoxically, the minimalist tech company has always wanted a physical storefront. “We also thought, as a new brand, with a technology product and a design-led product, opting for the more personalized experience helped us in standing out in the clutter of the tech market. We really believe in the community around ‘Nothing’.  Unlike other brands, we chose a small format store instead of investing on to the big Oxford Street.”

This has led the company to assume a design which is quite compact, where it can experiment and learn about how to interact with its customer base and figure out the permutations of creating a fun retail experience. It plans to open more stores in key markets. Is India one of them?

“Nothing is confirmed, nothing is fixed right now in the calendar. But in terms of our thought process, we believe that India would be a great place for an offline experience,” answers Latham, perhaps inadvertently confirming Nothing is fixed in the calendar.

Puns aside, Latham asserts that Nothing is really well positioned because it has that design aesthetic, but it's also a really excellent kind of value product as well. “You're getting a lot for your needs and for your money, from a design point of view. Also, we have a high investment in our OS. We've just launched our Android 13 and we continue to update the product on a really regular basis, having done eight updates since launch. Also, we’ve had feedback from the market and from our customers in India that they've actually found that the phone one is getting better the more they use it.”

Speaking about figuring out the bugs of the system, this conversation would mean nothing (yes, the puns write themselves) without going into the idea of using animal imagery, especially the insect kind, in its visual advertising.

Latham says, “What we're trying is to bring the product to life with some warmth and some personality. Our design ethos is about joyful interactions and designing with our instincts, not just following kind of rulebooks and lots of data. We want to design products that make us feel something. The founding idea of the insects and the animals was bringing technical warmth to the products, bringing them alive. And these insects use instincts to explore. So when you see a beetle interacting with our Ear (2) products, you see it exploring it and trying to find out what it is using its very basic instinct.”

“And we use different characters for different products because they have different, maybe different meanings. With the current product that we're launching, the animal in the creative is an ox beetle. And this ox beetle is a very small, very powerful, and very technical creature; if you look at it, it looks very engineered, very purposeful,” he says.

“And with the Ear (2), the engineering teams have spent a lot of time making the product more compact, but also increasing the performance massively. So, we've got this very small, very strong, very powerful product. And the animal that's interacting with it in some ways mirrors it,” he adds, concluding, “Also, let's not be too pretentious about it, it's also just super fun: a very fun way to demonstrate, to show off the product.”

It’s nothing, really.

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Surinder Films acquires Bengali OTT platform Addatimes

The first web series after acquisition to be streamed on Addatimes will be Amriter Sandhane - The Banaras Chapter

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 21, 2023 3:45 PM   |   2 min read


Kolkata headquartered film production company, Surinder Films, has acquired Addatimes, the first Bengali on-demand OTT Platform of the country

“We have been in the business of Bengali film production, distribution and content creation for both regional & national channels. In today’s context we found that the OTT Platforms have immense growth potential and it is the right time to invest on it. Thus, we decided to acquire Addatimes, the first Bengali and one of the well-known OTT platforms. Here, we would be creating, as well as acquiring content of varied genres keeping in mind the audience interest. We already have an interesting line up of big-ticket Bengali Movies & a host of Web Series’ which we would start streaming soon. We look forward to a creatively exciting journey ahead”, said Nispal Singh, Director, Surinder Films Pvt Ltd.

The first web series after acquisition to be streamed on Addatimes will be Amriter Sandhane - The Banaras Chapter, from14th April, 2023, celebrating the occasion of Poila Boishak (Bengali New Year). This 8-episode series is a mythological thriller set in the holy city of Varanasi. The star cast of Amriter Sandhane - The Banaras Chapter includes Chandan Roy Sanyal, Sauraseni Maitra & Debasish Mondal amongst others and it is directed by Abhinandan Dutta. Following this there will be a rib-tickling series, Gentlemen, starring Joy Sengupta, Mir Afsar Ali, Rudranil Ghosh & Madhurima Basak in the lead, which is directed by Korak Murmu. Gentlemen will be steaming from May, 2023.


This apart, Addatimes would also digitally premiere some mega feature films like Kaberi Antardhan (on 26th March, 2023) followed by Mitin Mashi, SagardwipeyJawker Dhan & Magic and many more in the coming months. New films like Love Marriage, Bhootpori, Ardhangini, Paakhi, Tarakar Mrityu & Tenida will be digitally premiered in Addatimes post their theatrical releases.


“We plan to release between 15 -18 original contents a year, to begin with. As far as the films are concerned, there will be more than one release per month," added Singh.

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Class has no ‘class’

Guest Column: Markand Adhikari, Chairman & MD of SABGROUP, writes that the new trend of nudity and obscenity in OTT is harming society and putting freedom of expression in danger

By Markand Adhikari | Mar 21, 2023 2:30 PM   |   4 min read

Markand Adhikari

Today, I wished to share something with the readers about a new trend in the media/entertainment sector, but let me first confess I feel ashamed and embarrassed to write this as I also come from this fraternity. The trend I am referring to is the kind of content that has excessive vulgarity, nudity and obscenity.

When some of my friends told me about this, I was not ready to believe that the content dished out on a platform, for public consumption, could have fallen to this level. But they insisted and urged me to raise my voice against it. So, I decided to check it out myself. I came across a web series titled ‘Class’ and another called ‘Rana Naidu’, both on a premium OTT platform. I mustered enough willpower but I am sorry to report that I could not watch more than two episodes of each of them.

On TV and the big screen, the content is meant for entertainment. This content did not entertain me; it shocked me, it disturbed me.

When people complain of such excesses, some makers argue that they are merely showing a mirror to society. I beg to differ. What is shown in ‘Class’ and ‘Rana Naidu’ is not the true picture of our culture and society. Is each and every student of an elite school in big cities a drug addict? Is every boy or girl in such high-profile schools indulging in pervert sexual acts? If that were the case, I am sure at least some of the parents would have raised their voices and stopped sending their children to such schools. But that is not the case.

What such content does is not reflect social reality but actually the opposite – instigate our youth and society to go down this path by giving them ideas. Do we want today’s youth to take that path and create a generation of drug peddlers, sex maniacs and criminals? Or do we want to see them as doctors, administrators, scientists, thinkers and leaders of the future?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating strict censorship. I believe I am very liberal-minded and have been a strong advocate of the freedom of expression. But crossing the limits of what can be said and what can be shown on the screen is a shameless and blatant violation of the Freedom of Expression. The premium platform where ‘Class’ and ‘Rana Naidu’ is streaming is abusing the right to free expression.

Let us agree that nudity, vulgarity and obscenity cannot be sold in the name of fundamental rights. If you think so, then why stop at ‘Class’ and ban outright pornography? That too should be ok. If so, is it the case that some porn producers and peddlers have been prosecuted because their platform is not as big?

Let me reiterate that the issue here is nudity and not fundamental rights. Those who defend this vulgarity in the name of rights are actually destroying our social fabric and harming our culture. Selling obscene content in the name of freedom of expression is actually putting this freedom and this right in danger. They are forcing the authorities to consider censorship of OTT content. Then, we as an industry will have no argument against the government. In other words, these “advocates” of freedom of expression will be responsible for the censorship of OTT content, and we will be responsible for digging our own graves.

Alarm bells are ringing. I strongly believe we should wake up and put a stop to this trend. Enough is indeed enough.

Markand Adhikari is Chairman and Managing Director of SAB Network.

(The views expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not in any way represent the views of

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NCLAT reserves judgment in Google case

The tribunal has been hearing this case since February 15

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 21, 2023 11:43 AM   |   1 min read


The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has reserved its judgment in the Google versus CCI case, say media reports.

The appellate body has been hearing this case since February 15.

Last week, the CCI informed NCLAT that the tech major was not a 'dominant' but 'super dominant' undertaking.


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Hoop Entertainment signs multi-show deal with Audible

Hoop Entertainment will produce 70 hours of original, multi-character, audio series content that will be exclusively distributed on Audible

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 21, 2023 11:32 AM   |   1 min read


Audible, a creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, has signed an exclusive deal for 10-audio dramas with Nikhil Mirchandani’s Hoop Entertainment.

Hoop Entertainment will produce 70 hours of original, multi-character, audio series content, across mythology, drama, history, true crime and horror genres, creating a “theatre of the mind” experience that will be exclusively distributed on Audible.

The 10 new shows produced by Hoop will be available free for all listeners, exclusively on Audible.

Shailesh Sawlani, VP and Country Manager for India at Audible, said, "We are incredibly excited to collaborate with Hoop Entertainment to bring captivating content to all listeners for free on Audible. We are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to provide our listeners with best-in-class content, and Hoop Entertainment's expertise in producing audio dramas across a variety of genres perfectly aligns with our vision. We are confident our shared passion for storytelling will help us to continue to deliver an immersive experience for our listeners."

Nikhil Mirchandani, Founder, Hoop Entertainment, said, “We're thrilled at the opportunity to produce a multitude of audio series across genres for Audible. The stories, narrative, performances, and sound design will create a ‘theatre-of-the-mind’ experience. Audio is the next entertainment frontier, and our audiences are ready for complex storytelling and personalized audio experiences. We thank Audible for trusting & enabling us to explore this medium to the fullest.”

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