Jeff Bezos is a clever man. Amazon Prime Video’s entry into India came with the announcement of many Indian shows that would be produced by local talent and YouTube stars AIB, along with many others, and their ridiculously affordable price tag of Rs. 499 per year which also benefits your shopping experience, was a major blow to Netflix in India.
However, Netflix shows no signs of stopping, as they continue to add regional and international content in large numbers almost every week. Combine this with the fact that Netflix does not compromise its content, very unlike Prime Video, and it can easily carve a niche for itself as a premium content provider in the Indian Market. One of the primary reasons why India pirates movies so much is because, ease of availability aside, the horrendous cuts on the movies released in theatres, but I digress.
Netflix specializes in content created for their audience worldwide, from superhero shows like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, to the upcoming Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro collaboration, Netflix understands the creative content that their fans want and give it to us, by constantly staying in touch with the fans and investing in crazy, over the top projects that would never be accepted on mainstream TV or in the movie theatre.
However, Amazon Prime Video will edge over Netflix in India for a very simple reason: local content. Amazon understands that Indians want something they can easily relate to in their online content. The reason why the TVF shows, The Pitchers and Permanent Roommates are so popular is because they are very Indian and very relatable to the kind of crowd that watches web series online, the urban youth.
Only by producing local content alongside revisiting their tariff plans, Netflix stand a chance to attract the non-urban youth and older generation into subscribing to their content. This will result in a battle amongst these content streaming providers, to produce better online content for us to consume. Personally, as a person who devours world cinema and the art form, this would lead to some amazing local content akin to the TV shows on DD back in the 90s, when India still produced amazing TV shows.