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Video is no. 1 Prime benefit in India: Mike Hopkins, Head of Prime Video & Amazon MGM Studios

The video streamer is set to launch 70 new shows and films over the next two years

Prime Video, the video streaming service from Amazon, will stream 70 new shows and movies over the next two years. Among the shows that will be launched are the third season of The Family Man, Panchayat, and Mirzapur. The streamer will also bring out the second season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power this year and the fourth season of The Boys too.

Mike Hopkins, head of Prime Video & Amazon MGM Studios, was in India to announce the content slate for India. In a conversation with Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar, Hopkins revealed the company’s plans for India and beyond.

According to Hopkins, “More people sign up for Prime Video in India than for any other benefit.” Amazon’s Prime bundle at Rs 1,499 per year and Rs 125 per month includes services like free one-day delivery, ad-free music streaming, Prime Gaming, Prime Reading, Amazon Family, etc. In 2022 Amazon launched Prime Video Mobile Edition at an annual fee of Rs 599.

He adds, “More people in the world are signing up for Prime in India outside of the US. And Prime Video is the number one reason they sign up in India. Last year, India had the highest percentage of Prime members who streamed Prime Video than any other country in the world.”

Hopkins, who joined Amazon four years ago, says the company has thought deeply about the complicated nature of the streaming ecosystem and the challenges therein.  One problem the company has addressed is hosting content from multiple streaming services on a single platform. To that end Prime Video introduced Channels in 2021. 

Prime Channels in India include Anime Times, FanCode, Sony Pictures Stream, BBC Player, BBC Kids, Animax + GEM, Lionsgate Play, discovery+, Eros Now, DocuBay, ManoramaMAX, hoichoi, MUBI, AMC+, ShortsTV, VROTT, NammaFlix, Stingray All Good Vibes, iwonder, Curiosity Stream, MyZen TV, Chaupal, Museum TV. Prime Video Channels has also served as the India launchpad for several OTT services like, Stingray All Good Vibes, iwonder, Anime Times, Sony Pictures Stream.

Key takeaways from the session
Key takeaways from the session

Not just that, Prime Video in India also has a TVoD option and Amazon has an ad-supported layer with Amazon Mini TV on the retail app. He says, “Mini TV, our (ad-supported) business is doing really well, where we've grown four times in overall watch time since 2023.”

Streaming wasn’t a widely adopted entertainment option just seven years ago. A precipitous drop in data prices and affordable mobile handsets gave wings to the streaming business. To Hopkins, India is a crucial market — a market whose success can shape the company’s trajectory. 

“The next 250 million subscribers we acquire will come from outside of the United States. And we're not going to be able to achieve that unless we do a really good job for customers in India as well. We also believe in the story of India and the growth that's been happening here over the last several years.” 

Amazon has 200 million Prime subscribers worldwide (240 countries). “More people have signed up for Prime in India than anywhere else in the world,” Hopkins stated. 

Not only is India important to Amazon’s streaming business in adding users, the content coming from India has global takers. “In any given week in 2023, Indian content was watched in over 210 countries and territories worldwide on Prime Video. Indian programming trended in the top 10 on Prime Video worldwide for 43 out of the 52 weeks of 2023,” he reveals. As per the streamer, the shows that resonate with global audiences as well as Indian are: Farzi, Indian Police Force, Poacher, The Family Man, and Made in Heaven

On the same day that the company announced its India slate, it made waves with a never-seen-before format with international YouTuber Mr Beast. “We just announced an ambitious news show from Mr. Beast with 1,000 contestants vying for a $5 million prize. Mr. Beast is aiming to create the largest game show in the history of the world. And we couldn't be more excited,” Hopkins said. 

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