There was a time when a Hollywood film would be released in India only decades after it’s US and UK launch. Today, we have reached a situation where feature films are released in India a day prior than the US and UK dates. This same success story is now being seen in the streaming section of entertainment. Netflix has been crying itself hoarse that India plays an important role in the road ahead for them and Amazon is tying up with Indian production houses to gather Indian media at a dizzying pace. Here’s a look at all the dotting-and-dashing that Amazon’s been doing over the past year.
In June last year, Amazon roped in the likes of Vishal Bharadwaj and Vidhu Vinod Chopra for web series of their channel. Later on, they signed up Farhan Akthar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment for an exclusive web series that is now titled ‘Inside Edge’. However, the buzz now is that the series has been stalled indefinitely because of creative differences between the two.
But the interesting thing to note is that Amazon India is not just looking for newer content. It also wants to be a host for some of the iconic titles from Bollywood. It has signed up with Vishesh Films and could have access to its entire library including their upcoming films.
They are just not looking at the mass appeal films; Amazon is hooking the production houses that are into indie films too. It tied up with Cinestaan, for its movies like Death in the Gunj and Dev Bhoomi. We already have seen the prequel to Baahubali, titled Baahubali: Lost Legends, that’s the result of a tie-up between S.S. Rajamouli, Graphics India and Arka Media Works.
It’s not just movies that Amazon is interested in, though. Another of its tie-ups is with Green Gold Entertainment, the people behind Chhota Bheem and Super Bheem. The deal brings all of episodes of the aforementioned series and their future episodes too. On the animation front, Amazon has also tied up with the makers of Doraemon, Shin Chan and Ninja Hattori.
Looking back, Amazon seems to be taking steps to gain as many iconic titles as it can into its inventory. It has signed up with Dharma and T-Series that gives access to most of their inventory. There’s buzz that the T-Series content will be streaming before it does a TV debut.
All this proves that the streaming service is definitely investing some of their big bucks in the Indian market for content acquisition. A while back, there was news that a filmmaker who made a short-film about the triple talaq problem was offered peanuts by a streaming service when it hit the festival circuit. However, when they saw the response of the film in the festival circuit, they came back with a better offer.
While this is on the content front, Amazon is bringing in more tech to make streaming much more simple for the Indian audience with the Amazon Fire Stick. The Amazon Fire Stick is a USB device that converts a dumb TV into a smart one, thereby allowing the users to watch most streaming content, including Netflix.