Half of Amazon Prime’s Indian members are in mainly for its videos

What is India watching?
What is India watching?
Image: Reuters/Amit Dave
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This post has been updated.

The Indian obsession over Amazon Prime membership is more about its video-streaming service than other perks such as free two-day shipping, special offers for members, and music-streaming.

Half of those who used the facility during the e-commerce giant’s flagship annual Prime Day sale on July 15-16 this year, said the main draw for them were the on-demand video offerings, data collected by RedSeer show.

“Traditionally, where we saw customers in other markets enjoying shopping on Amazon first and then deciding to join Prime, in India a lot of customers come directly from Prime Video or through our telecom partners, who offer Prime Video subscriptions,” Akshay Sahi, director and head of Amazon Prime in India, told BusinessLine newspaper in June. Once they have Prime, they first watch some videos and then explore the shopping experience.”

On Prime Day, members watched Prime Video in over 4,000 towns and cities across India, the company said in a July 18 press release.

“Prime members who have watched Prime Video or listened to Prime Music renew their membership at higher rates and shop more,” the company told Quartz in a statement on July 23. “Over two-thirds of our customers stream within 24 hours of signing up for a Prime Membership, making it one of our biggest assets/differentiators.”

Original Hindi-language series like Mirzapur, Comicstaan, and Breathe were binged on the most, the Seattle-based company’s own 2018 end-of-year data show. In line with this trend, Amazon is especially winning against competitors like Netflix and MX Player when it comes to Hindi film content viewership, RedSeer found.

“The biggest message is around Netflix being the platform where users report maximum diversity in terms of genres consumed, while usage of MX player is more in certain genres,” Bengaluru-based research firm RedSeer noted. “Amazon Prime is somewhere in the middle. This could be indicative of both the genre diversity available on each platform and also the type of user mix each has.”

Amazon Prime Video wins in the Hindi category.
Amazon Prime Video wins in the Hindi category.
Image: RedSeer

Pricing likely plays a role in Amazon’s popularity, too. Amazon Prime Video is among the cheapest in the world in India.

And compared to the other non-Indian players in India’s over-the-top (OTT) market, Netflix—its cheapest plan costs Rs500 ($7.26)—Amazon’s Rs999 annual membership gives users more bang for the buck with delivery and deals.