Benita Chacko
OTT Streaming

Amazon miniTV's 4X viewership growth explained

  • Amazon miniTV has experienced a significant fourfold increase in viewership and revenue due to a broader distribution strategy and a stronger content pipeline targeted to specific audience cohorts.

  • It has broadened its distribution channels and content strategy has evolved from curating shorter videos to producing longer-format content tailored to varying audience preferences.

  • Integrated shoppable ads have been introduced, allowing brands to seamlessly integrate their ads within content, resulting in significantly higher click-through rates.

  • miniTV leverages the extensive reach of the Amazon ecosystem and plans to expand beyond Hindi to cater to diverse linguistic preferences, especially in South Indian markets like Tamil and Telugu.

Amazon miniTV, Prime Video’s free and ad-supported video service, has grown four times in overall watch time since 2023, said Mike Hopkins, head of Prime Video & Amazon MGM Studios, during his recent visit to India.

In an interview with afaqs!, Aruna Daryanani, director and business head, Amazon miniTV, and Amogh Dusad, head of content, Amazon miniTV, say this leap in viewership has come on the back of a broader distribution strategy and a stronger content pipeline targeted to specific cohorts.

Distribution Strategy

Originally launched on Amazon’s shopping app in May 2021, the India-focussed service has made itself more accessible by broadening its distribution channels. In 2023, it became available on the Prime Video app. 

“We expanded our content selection on Prime Video, recognising its importance as a go-to platform for Prime members who regularly engage with entertainment content,” Daryanani says.

It also developed its own Android mobile application and recently debuted on Google TVs and Xiaomi TVs. It is now accessible through various avenues, including the Amazon website, Fire TV and connected TVs. 

“As an Advertising Video on Demand (AVoD) player, it's essential for us to maintain a presence across various platforms to ensure that customers can easily access our content without any hindrance,” she says.

Content Strategy

miniTV launched during the COVID-19 pandemic when production activities were severely impacted by lockdown restrictions. Initially, it focused on curating library content, shorter videos, and award-winning short films. As restrictions eased, it transitioned towards producing longer-duration content. It has made a significant shift away from snackable content towards longer-format content to meet evolving viewer preferences.

“Currently, our primary focus is crystal clear: to establish miniTV as a premier destination for long-form entertainment content,” Dusad says.

The service has also made significant strides in content development. While miniTV remained focused on the 18 to 34 demographic, it diversified its programming to cater to smaller cohorts within this age group, spanning from early college students to young professionals. This approach allows for the creation of content tailored to varying levels of maturity and interests within this demographic. For example, shows like "Half Love Half Arranged" or "Badtameez Dil" resonate with older viewers in their late 20s to early 30s, while series like "Highway Love" or "Gutar Gu" appeal to younger audiences aged 18 to 21.

“Devices that can stream content, especially smartphones, have revolutionised entertainment consumption by providing personalised programming capabilities. Unlike traditional television, where content caters to a broad family audience, digital platforms offer the flexibility to target specific demographic cohorts,” Dusad says.

Currently, our primary focus is crystal clear: to establish miniTV as a premier destination for long-form entertainment content.
Amogh Dusad, head of content, Amazon miniTV

Further, it focuses on understanding and catering to the preferences of specific audience segments or cohorts. For instance, franchises like "Rakshak" cater to viewers interested in patriotism, adventure, and stories of sacrifice, drawing inspiration from real-life heroes and their missions. This approach ensures that the programming remains diverse and resonates with a wide range of audience preferences. 

“Our genre-agnostic approach and our commitment to creating content that is customer-centric sets us apart. We strive to offer a diverse selection to meet the varying mood states and preferences of our audience,” he adds.

While it offers content in various genres, including entrepreneurship, patriotic stories or crime investigation series, it is romance that resonates the most with its audience, especially young romance.

“Young romance has emerged as a popular genre, with many of our IPs building dedicated fan bases and receiving consistent requests for returning seasons,” he adds.

integrated Shoppable Ads
integrated Shoppable Ads

It has also widened its target audience by offering content in varied languages. It introduced the "Imported" category, to serve as a hub for internationally popular shows dubbed into Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. 

“We curated content from various languages including Korean, Turkish, Mandarin, and Spanish. The growth and engagement within this category have been exceptional, indicating promising prospects for its future development,” Dusad says.

It has also expanded its localisation efforts by dubbing some of its major originals in Tamil and Telugu. “This strategy allows our content to resonate with audiences in other regions and extend our reach,” he adds.

In 2023, it launched its flagship unscripted show, "Hip Hop India''. Some of its popular shows include Physics Wallah, Highway Love, Gutar Gu, Yeh Meri Family, and Crushed. In 2024 it plans to add over 900 hours of exclusive content across genres and categories.

“This translates to launching shows at a cadence of approximately two to three exclusive originals every month, complemented by one imported show on a weekly basis. Unlike traditional media, digital platforms allow us to program a multitude of shows because each show caters to its own unique audience,” he adds.

Amazon miniTV's 4X viewership growth explained


The fourfold growth in viewership has also led to a similar surge in revenue. As the viewership increased, it scaled on its ad journey and welcomed numerous new brands from various industries, including those endemic to Amazon's marketplace and non-endemic ones such as financial institutions, insurance companies, and social media apps. 

Some of India’s leading advertisers such as Mamaearth, Realme, Nissan, Lenovo and WhatsApp have sponsored shows on miniTV, done brand integrations within shows and purchased advertising inventory.

Daryanani says these brands experienced notably positive outcomes in their advertising metrics, witnessing heightened brand recall and purchase consideration and many have since become regular advertisers on the service.

“We provide them with the opportunity to collaborate closely with our content slate, facilitating rich brand integrations and offering tailored solutions that align with their brand messaging,” she says.

Our audience comprises highly savvy digital consumers. What sets them apart is their affluent status, brand consciousness, and purchasing behaviours.
Aruna Daryanani, director and business head, Amazon miniTV

miniTV’s USPs

miniTV aims to engage with the extensive base of Amazon shoppers, which includes a significant portion of non-Prime members. Additionally, it aims to leverage the service as a means to attract new audiences to Amazon by offering free, high-quality content. 

“In doing so, we provide brands with the opportunity to convey their messaging and create upper-funnel brand awareness through video advertising—a capability previously unavailable on Amazon. This approach aligns with our overarching strategy to facilitate brand engagement and drive e-commerce objectives,” Daryanani says.

Compared to traditional OTT players, Amazon miniTV adopted a distinct approach. Rather than focusing solely on establishing its own brand and distribution channels, it strategically leveraged the expansive reach of the Amazon ecosystem. Beginning from the Amazon shopping app, it swiftly expanded across all Amazon touch points. This provided it access to a vast and diverse audience base, given the widespread reach of the Amazon shopping app. 

“This tight integration with the Amazon ecosystem provides us with a significant competitive advantage that cannot be easily replicated by other OTT players, offering unparalleled access to a highly engaged and affluent audience base,” she says.

Last year, it introduced Integrated shoppable ads, an advertising solution that allows brands to seamlessly integrate their ads within the content. This feature enables viewers to open the advertiser's landing page directly below the player while the ad is playing, eliminating the need to navigate away from the content. It is currently available on mobile platforms and will soon be extended to smart TVs.

“When viewers can interact with advertisements it results in significantly higher click-through rates. Ours is three to four times higher than industry averages,” she adds. 

It also provides it access to the e-commerce website’s deep insights in the consumers’ online shopping habits. 

A recent Amazon study revealed that approximately 87% of miniTV viewers shop online at least once a month. miniTV viewers tend to purchase two and a half times more units compared to non-viewers. Further, 30% of its audience are Prime members and the top 40% of viewers represent the top 20% of online spenders. Notably, its audience primarily consists of young individuals, with 80% falling within the 18 to 34 age bracket. 63% of its audience hails from Tier 1 cities. Moreover, over 60% of its viewers come from the NCCS A cohort, reflecting the high socioeconomic status and premium purchasing power of its audience base.

“Our audience comprises highly savvy digital consumers. What sets them apart is their affluent status, brand consciousness, and purchasing behaviours. They exhibit a strong affinity for discretionary products, such as smartphones valued at over Rs 15,000, actively utilise credit cards, and are early adopters of new technologies,” Daryanani shares.

While miniTV is accessible across Amazon’s ecosystem, that is 99% of India's pincodes, its presence is largely limited to Hindi-speaking markets as its primary content offering is currently in Hindi. It plans to strengthen its presence in South Indian states, especially in the Tamil and Telugu markets.

“Expanding beyond Hindi is an integral part of our roadmap. We are keen on creating a nationwide service that caters to diverse linguistic preferences. Expanding our content slate to include more languages will enable us to penetrate additional states where our presence is currently less pronounced,” Dusad adds.

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