Gaurav Gandhi, country head, Amazon Prime Video India, explains the rationale behind collaboration with Airtel to launch the new edition, and its target audience.
Seattle-headquartered e-commerce giant Amazon does not reveal its country-wise subscriber details. It offers Prime memberships to customers, which enables them to use benefits like free-of-cost delivery, early access to deals and video content on Amazon Prime Video. There are reports that claim that Jeff Bezos’ venture has raked in close to 15 million subscribers in India.
Globally, Amazon has bundled its video-on-demand (VOD) platform with Prime membership, which is sold at an annual fee. In India, it made an exception and rolled out a monthly plan. The sachet pricing model, according to think tanks in Mumbai, helped Amazon to rake in subscribers well beyond the metros.
On January 13, this year, Amazon made yet another exception for India by launching a Prime Video Mobile Edition (PVME). Airtel users can now get access to PVME by simply recharging their mobile numbers.
In an interaction with afaqs!, Gaurav Gandhi, country head, Amazon Prime Video India, explains the rationale behind launching the new edition, and its target audience.
Why was it essential to roll out a mobile-only plan at this stage?
We, at Amazon Prime Video, always work backwards from what we believe will work for our customers. We are relentless in creating and curating the best entertainment and experiences for them. We are constantly innovating on their behalf, be it creating the much-loved, world-class Amazon Originals, or bringing the biggest blockbuster movies, across languages, directly to the screen of their choice.
This has helped us become India’s preferred premium entertainment service. It is enjoyed by audiences in over 4,300 towns and cities. Prime Video Mobile Edition is another example of us innovating for our customers.
This is an India-only plan…
Over the last few years, powered by access to affordable data, smartphones have become the preferred screen, and the only screen for a significant segment of the audience, for entertainment in India. Given that close to 95 per cent Indian households are single-TV homes, the smartphone becomes the default screen for video viewing for many in a family.
Eighty-five per cent of India’s Internet access is mobile-driven. And, it is important to note that over 90 per cent of all mobile customers accessing data services are prepaid customers.
Who is your target audience?
Prime Video Mobile Edition is designed for those mobile-only customers who use prepaid data plans, and are making a transition into the world of cinematic, high-quality storytelling and premium video. With deep distribution (using the telecom operator’s online and offline touch points), 30-day free trial and seamless onboarding, PVME is an offering aimed at this important segment.
This initiative is designed to give the customers not just more choice (of plans), but also an easy access to subscribe to Prime Video, along with mobile data plans.
Amazon Prime already has a monthly plan… why a mobile-only video plan?
Amazon Prime has a distinct customer-focused proposition, which includes shopping/shipping benefits, Amazon Prime Music, Prime Reading, access to free in-game content and Amazon Prime Video. This makes Prime a unique subscription-based membership program.
Each benefit is individually best-in-class and together, these benefits focus on delighting the customer. With the Prime membership costing just Rs 999 a year, or Rs 129 a month, it is undoubtedly the best deal in town!
Prime Video Mobile Edition is a plan specifically made for a mobile-first country like India.
How big is the base that you are targeting? And, do you eventually want them to transition to Prime membership?
Prime Video Mobile Edition has a distinct, but very large customer segment that will have access to Prime Video’s entire entertainment content library, bundled with data benefits.
The customers who subscribe to Prime Video Mobile Edition (or take a free trial of PVME) can easily transition to a full Prime plan (which is also available with and without data benefits).
Are you eyeing for more partnerships with telcos? Are telcos one of the biggest distribution channels for OTT and premium video?
We are happy to collaborate with Airtel as our first partner in India for Prime Video Mobile Edition. Our intent with Prime Video Mobile Edition is to truly democratise access to premium content and ensure the widest possible access. And partnerships, like the one we have with Airtel, help us in achieving that goal.