American video streaming giants Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are believed to have set aside Rs 2,000-crore budgets each to attract the Indian audience, Mint reported on Monday. While the report did not specify how the two plan to spend their budget, both Amazon and Netflix have their eye on producing original content for the domestic market and acquiring content from various production houses.
“On the originals front, we are focused on finding great Indian stories – not just for Indians, but for the world. Sacred Games is our first announced Indian original series, and partnering with a top studio like Phantom Films speaks of the kind of quality we are looking at,” Netflix said in a statement.
The rivals are both focused on the quality of original content. CEO of Dharma Productions Apoorva Mehta said, “Having met both, I can vouch for the fact that both are sold on the India story. They are both equally aggressive when it comes to content.” Nitesh Kriplani, director and country head of Amazon Prime Video India, said the company was “customer-obsessed and not focused on competition”.
While Netflix has been slow on the local content acquisition front, Amazon has signed a far higher number of deals with production houses. Netflix’s tie-ups include contracts with Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, which will bring movies produced under the banned to the platform.
Amazon, on the other hand, has tied up Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Yash Raj Films, T-Series, Everest Entertainment, Shree Venkatesh Films, Dream Warrior Pictures and V Creations. This is in addition to the 18 original shows it has announced for India, making it the company’s largest market for original content outside the United States.
Moreover, Amazon’s Prime Video is also much ahead in terms of subscriber base, despite having launched months after Netflix India. At 95 lakh, Amazon Prime Video has more than half the number of active subscribers than Netflix’s 42 lakh. This has been attributed to the significant difference in subscription pricing – while an annual subscription with Amazon costs Rs 499, a subscription for Netflix comes at Rs 500 per month.