The ‘Race to Ace’ on the Indian Web – Part 1: International Streaming Platforms Battle it Out!
Content Streaming Platforms – From Global to Local.
There are a growing number of people opting to stream content online, especially web series. This trend was witnessed across many countries, with shows like 13 Reasons Why, Game of Thrones, Narcos, etc. going popular on a global scale.
To expand their audience, streaming platforms explored vast countries to dig their claws in. China had strict regulation policies. Then came India, and so the scramble began.
Netflix’s Entry In India: Better Late Than Never.
Although Netflix entered the Indian Market back in 2016, it began producing local content in 2018, joining the game a little too late.
People were flocking to Indian OTT platforms for their original and entertaining content. Amazon Prime Video, too, was marching to conquer the screens.
Netflix then dropped a bomb with ‘Sacred Games’, which led to an exponential rise in attention to the platform.
The Battle of the Big Boys – Now In India:
Netflix versus Amazon:
By the time Netflix joined the arena with its first originals, Amazon already had a number of Indian original series, such as Breathe and Inside Edge, and content in Hindi as well as regional languages.
Amazon Prime had carved out a space for itself in the comedy genre, collaborating with Indian comedians like Sumukhi Suresh, Biswa Kalyan Rath, etc.
Netflix made waves on the digital space with Sacred Games. Then came Ghoul, which may very well change the way horror genre is perceived by Indian audiences. They’ve already lined up Bard of Blood, starring Emraan Hashmi, the Baahubali prequel series ‘Baahubali: Before the Beginning’, Selection Day and Leila.
Amazon had already turned this battle into a multi-faceted one, combining its E-commerce platform with Prime Video and Music. They also came out with more shows – Harmony with A. R. Rahman, and its most watched Indian show, Comicstaan. Later, Amazon Prime came out with the crime thriller Mirzapur, featuring a stellar cast.
As a countermove in the battle of multiple fronts, Netflix entered into a partnership with Airtel to offer 3 months of subscription with post-paid services.
New Competitor – YouTube Originals:
Next, joining the game is YouTube originals. YouTube was already creating original content for its premium paid service, but now it is moving towards India. While it is a paid service, YouTube may be looking to provide the first few ones for free (with ads), before bringing the YouTube Premium to India.
The first original that came out recently is ARRived, a musical talent hunt competition, featuring the maestro A. R. Rahman.
The Never-Ending Competition:
Both Netflix and Amazon are huge giants. Netflix and Amazon Prime both offer a 30-day trial to new users. After that, Netflix has a basic plan of 500 rupees per month, while Amazon Prime has a subscription charge of 129 rupees per month, which also includes Amazon delivery benefits, exclusive deals, an Amazon Prime Music along with Video. Amazon sure does win in the price and services category, but Netflix does have a vast library of popular and quality content, an area where it is currently unbeatable.
Both platforms have their positives and negatives and in the end, it is up to you to decide whether you want the cookie or the ice-cream. Or if you want, you can have both (you do have that option).