Streaming is Seeing Phenomenal Growth in India; a Large Part of That Growth is Coming from Outside Metros – Sushant Sreeram, Country Director, Prime Video India

MUMBAI, India — March 9, 2024 — In a highly engaging panel curated on the opening day of FICCI FRAMES 2024 titled ‘Reinvent: Navigating the Future of the Media and Entertainment Industry’, Sushant Sreeram, Country Director, Prime Video India delved into the dynamic landscape of the streaming industry in India, exploring growth trends while highlighting Prime Video’s business and content commissioning strategy.

FICCI Frames 2024 - Sushant Sreeram Panel

Moderated by Ashish Pherwani, Partner, Ernst and Young, the panel began with a keynote from Sanjay Jaju, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In addition to Sushant Sreeram, the panel saw the participation of industry leaders from multiple M&E sectors, including Gaurav Dwivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharti, Kevin Vaz, Chair, FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee, and Chief Executive Officer – Broadcast Entertainment, Viacom 18; Sandhya Devanathan, Co-Chair FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee, and Vice President and Head, Meta India; Arjun Nohwar, Co-Chair, FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee, and General Manager – India & South Asia, Warner Bros. Discovery and Shripad Ashtekar, Chairman & Managing Director, Signpost India.

Responding to a question on key trends across SVOD, TVOD and AVOD business models, Sushant said, “Streaming is seeing phenomenal growth in India. It has, in fact, become a dominant use-case for internet in the country, and a large part of that growth is coming from outside the metros. We have about as many people streaming content in India, as those watching linear TV. This is a very significant inflection point for the video streaming industry in India.”

He went on to share, “Another key point to note is that there is no one single customer for streaming, our customers sit across the spectrum of accessibility, affordability, and the languages in which they prefer to consume entertainment. Therefore, our strategy for building solutions for India has always been to focus on “AND” solutions, rather than making choices between “this” or “that”. That is exactly why Prime Video’s entertainment hub – where all the different VODs come into play, continues to do incredibly well. In fact, India is one of the frontrunners on new customer adoption for Prime Video globally. Also, our Channels proposition, where consumers get access to content from popular streaming services with add-on subscriptions, has grown well, with more than 20 partners on the service. Further, our Movie Rentals service where consumers – both Prime members and those who aren’t yet Prime Members, can rent movies ala carte, is seeing great consumer uptake across the country. Mini TV, Amazon’s free ad-supported service, also posted steady great growth in 2023. When we think about how to serve India, we prioritize what is important for customers – great value, great selection, and convenience. It is true for what we do at Amazon overall and the same holds true for Prime Video as well.”

Responding to a question on the cost of content, Sushant spoke about the fact Amazon and Prime Video is invested for the long term in India. Elaborating on the same, he said, “It is important to place this in context – our investment thesis is built on developing this category over a fairly long period of time. That’s the time horizon that we operate with for all our investments at Amazon, and the same holds true for Prime Video. The second is that we want to create a category of great cinematic storytelling and we know that consumers value that. We realized that creating an ecosystem across the board, not just the service, but creators and the technical ecosystem is an investment that is well made.”

He went on to add, “the other thing about our investment thesis is that we look at it through the lens of how we bring in customers to enjoy this multi-benefit proposition for Prime, which is a unique proposition for customers and Prime Video is a part of that. That changes how customers evaluate what is value for money, and that gives us the impetus to continue to make investments. And finally, we want to make all the great stories that we can, but we realize that we can’t make all of them. We’re therefore always excited about the collaborations that we can forge, with creators, Channel partners and studios to build out a true video entertainment marketplace. The fact that Prime Video has close to 100 projects right now in various stages of production and development is a clear indication that there is appetite for great stories in the country!”

To wrap up the highly engaging session, each participant was asked their Mantra for 2024, to which Sushant replied, “For us it’s still Day 1!” Day 1 is both a culture and an operating model that puts the customer at the center of everything Amazon does. Day 1 is about being constantly curious, nimble, and experimental.