Top Amazon Executives Bullish About India Prospects: ‘India Is Leading the Way for Us’

Amazon Prime Video pulled out the heavy international artillery to launch a massive Indian slate on Thursday. They are bullish about the market.

Kelly Day, VP of international, Amazon Prime Video, said at a round table during the event: “The future of global streaming services is really about global expansion, and moving much more ambitiously, to serving customers in our international markets all over the world. And truly, India is really leading the way for us. It is one of our fastest growing markets, represents some of our most engaged consumers. It’s just been doing really, really well.”

Day also said that India is an “innovation hub” for the service, with the country being used as the pilot for the single-device, mobile-only plan Prime Video Mobile Edition. The success of the plan prompted Amazon to roll out the service to a variety of countries around the world. “I really see the opportunity here in India, to continue to innovate, to continue to serve customers, and to continue to learn how we can build on that and expand Prime Video all over the world,” Day said.

James Farrell, head of local originals, Amazon Studios, revealed that one out of five customers outside India watch Indian content, citing the success of “Shershaah,” which is the most watched direct-to-streaming Indian film on the service. Farrell said that Amazon India original “One Mic Stand” has been adapted in Germany and that Japanese format “Last One Laughing” has an Indian version. “Not only are shows traveling but ideas are starting to travel the world, so it’s just a super exciting time for how content is starting to move around the world.”

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios said that the service’s quest to be the home for talent is “defined by being diverse, and it’s supportive of women and voices all over the world,” adding that half the Indian content announced on Thursday is from female producers and executive producers, with 30% of the directors being women.

“The question that we ask ourselves constantly is, why this story? What is so compelling about this story? What is keeping the creators up at night about this story? Is it truly rooted and entrenched in our soil? I think that’s the starting point,” said Aparna Purohit, head, India originals. “We really want to back the vision of our creators, enable them and empower them.”

The talent and creators showed up in force at the in-person event in Mumbai. Hosted by media personality Karan Johar and actors Abhishek Bachchan and Sumukhi Suresh, the event attracted Bollywood A-listers including Madhuri Dixit Nene, Ajay Devgn, Shahid Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra, Rohit Shetty, Kangana Ranaut, Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Nikkhil Advani, Reema Kagti, Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K. and Manoj Bajpayee.

In keeping with Amazon’s India-wide reach, the Bengal industry was represented by Jisshu Sengupta and Parambrata Chattopadhyay, while a galaxy of stars from South India were also present including Vijay Sethupathi, Naga Chaitanya, Parvathy Thiruvothu and Arya.

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