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A Case Study on Amazon Prime Video

Added on - 30 Aug 2021

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A Case Study
on
Amazon Prime Video – Way ahead
Submitted to
Prof. Diptiranjan Mahapatra
IIM Sambalpur
Submitted by
Abhinand T V(2020MBA058)
Prashant Mahida(2020MBA078)
Mohak Kumar(2020MBA079)
Naga Sundaram B S(2020MBA081)
Vindhya Shanker(2020MBA111)
Digvijay Singh Bilzawan(2020PHD02)
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Amazon Prime Video
Aparna Purohit, Head of India Original at Amazon Prime Video was awestruck seeing the news
on a fine Sunday morning on a Local news channel. The news, though not from a new domain,
was about a BJP MP writing to the I & B Minister of India to ban ‘Tandav’, a recently released
web-show on Amazon Prime Video.
It has not been new for an OTT platform to face some criticism on the contents of the shows
after their release. The criticisms were mainly focused on the social media handles and in the
review column for the shows. Being a veteran in the creative industry Aparna was well aware of
the trend and was expecting some kind of heat on the show for its bold and abusive contents. So
why was she bamboozled by the news!
The accusations, as mentioned in the news, were that the show has disrespected the Hindutva by
demeaning the Hindu Gods. This statement made her question in which episode and how? She
sat down in a chair at her home office and began recalling the review sessions of the show. It has
been a policy of the Amazon Prime Video to allow freedom in creativity to its content partners
but at the same time it has always been made clear to be very vigilant while dealing with
contents related to religion, culture, history and caste as these are the hotspots for Indian Politics.
What was more troubling is that each show was reviewed by Amazon Prime Video in presence
of its director to make sure that proper care has been taken while handling the hotspot topics. So
why was this issue not informed to her by the reviewing team? Is the content really demeaning or
just an excuse material for trouble makers? Or was the review team not well qualified? Where
the mistake has happened and what will be its effects on the show’s collections were the next
series of thoughts that troubled her.How should she move ahead and plan to tackle this?
She was occupied in her thoughts when she heard her phone ringing. It was Mr. Gaurav Gandhi,
director and head of Amazon Prime Video,India on the line. She recollected her thoughts and
attended the call.
Hi Aparna! Did you see the morning news today? Aparna knew she would be bombarded by
many such calls and this was just a beginning. She replied, “Yes Gaurav, I saw the news
regarding the controversy and demand of a ban regarding Tandav”. Ok, so you are familiar with
the events going on. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I must inform you that I received
news from my sources that multiple FIRs against the show creators and our team have been filed
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across the country. Have you thought about how we should approach the matter? Aparna didn’t
know what to say. She replied, “Well Gaurav I haven’t reached a conclusion yet as it is news to
me but we need to investigate the episode and hear from the show's director. Also, some sort of
apology will be needed to keep the show running and blow down the heat. I agree, let's meet at
lunch with the director today and discuss the matter. Till then please review the episode, and
make a quick report on the matter. Ok Gaurav is what she could reply and they both hanged the
phone.
Aparna knew that the matter would somehow be contained. What was troubling her was the
pattern of similar events occurring across ott platforms. The OTT platform contents were always
free-spirited and this nature was responsible for the early adopters adopting them. But in the past
one year lots of complaints from politicians regarding shows and them demeaning something or
the other have surfaced. Is the industry changing? Do we need to work the same as the cinemas
worked? Will the originality and freshness disappear from the content? Where are we heading
towards in terms of content that can or should be given a green flag?
Industry Background
The OTT industry has been booming in India over the last few years, with growth of 35% year
on year. Increased internet penetration and the rising number of smartphone users have added
fuel to the OTT platform.The OTT media revenue is expected to have a growth to 167 billion
U.S. dollars by 2025. Expected Growth is 10 times from 2010 to 2019. Netflix is the market
leader having more than 200 million subscribers worldwide. The main players in the market are
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime, and Disney Plus.
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Company Background
Amazon prime is founded in the year 2005, it is a subscription model platform available in many
countries which is a subsidiary of Amazon. It includes services including fast delivery services
like delivery in one or two days, music, video, e-books, gaming and shopping.
As per the reports of Statista, in 2020 Amazon prime video is ranked third among the companies
after Netflix and Disney and it occupies second place in the rate of growth of the platform. Since
the market is expanding so fast, demand increased for contents and the company started
producing its own contents and in 2020, the budget for video creation was 7bn dollars. The
positioning of Amazon prime services are unique in the market, customers are already using the
services from shopping to cloud computing. Amazon prime is expecting to have a user base of
180 million subscribers all over the world by 2026. By 2020, they have acquired 117 million
subscribers all over the world and they had a revenue of 25 billion dollars from the amazon’s
subscription services.
Growth in India
Amazon Prime Video launched in 2011 and it was sold as a bundle along with the prime
subscription. People already having the Prime subscription didn't need to pay again. It came with
an annual subscription of Rs 499 unlike Netflix which was charging Rs 500 a month. Hence,
even after entering a year after Netflix was launched, it was a huge success as people already
used Prime service for shopping on Amazon and this was added in the subscription which no
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