Amazon starts $1.20 mobile video plan to target India’s millions Inc. is starting its first mobile-only Prime Video plan, targeting the hundreds of millions of entertainment-hungry smartphone users in India as the country’s streaming market surges.
The single-user plan is available to wireless carrier Bharti Airtel’s prepaid customers for as low as 89 rupees (USD1.20) a month after a 30-day free trial. The streaming plan comes with 6 gigabytes of data, which can also be used on other services. Customers can recharge on Airtel’s app and at the carrier’s more than 1 million outlets.
Amazon and rivals Netflix Inc., Google’s YouTube and Walt Disney Co. are ramping up streaming services in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, where mobile internet prices are among the lowest on the planet. The companies are plowing hundreds of millions of dollars into creating original shows in multiple languages and buying rights to Bollywood film premieres and cricket games.
“We want to democratize the access to content and through this unique offering reach hundreds of millions of users,” Gaurav Gandhi, director and India head for Amazon Prime Video, said in a phone interview. About 85% of internet access in India is via mobile devices and nearly 90% of all mobile users that access data are on prepaid plans, he said.
Prime Video already has customers in more than 4,300 cities and towns in India and the new plans will help Amazon push deeper into the hinterland. In the next few years, India will have as many streaming-service users as TV viewers and that calls for innovation on the product and distribution fronts, Gandhi said.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s streaming service is available in about 240 countries and territories while its Prime membership with shopping and shipping is available in 19 countries including India. Saritha Rai, Bloomberg

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