Jeff Bezos is on a whirlwind tour of the country, in the midst of which he made time to attend a glittering event in Mumbai with a raft of Bollywood stars for company. The event was hosted by Prime Video India at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, in honour of Bezos, CEO of its parent company, Amazon Inc.
Dressed in a nifty black and white printed jacket, Bezos looked poised and ready to up the ante in the streaming war in the Indian content space.
The event was attended by Prime Video IN content luminaries, such as Farhan Akhtar and Riteish Sidhwani of Inside Edge and Mirzapur; Manoj Bajpayee with his The Family Man directors Raj & DK; R Madhavan of Breathe; Kabir Khan with his The Forgotten Army stars Sunny Kaushal and Sharvari Wagh, besides other stars such as AR Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan, Zoya Akhtar, Siddharth Roy Kapoor and Vidya Balan, among others.
In a chat with Shah Rukh Khan and Zoya Akhtar on stage, Bezos outlined Amazon Prime Video’s future India plans. Lauding the Indian streaming market, he said that India was doing better for it than the rest of the world. He also asserted that his company would double the investments in its India operations.
“Nowhere in the world is Prime Video doing better than in India and we are planning to double down our investments here,” he said.
Along with the investment announcements, Bezos unveiled a slate of seven new Indian Originals for the coming year – Dilli, Bandish Bandits, Paatal Lok, Gormint, Mumbai Diaries-26/11, The Last Hour and Sons of Soil- Jaipur Pink Panthers.
That does sound like an intriguing lineup. It also means that Gormint, which had all but been shelved, post Irrfan Khan’s cancer discovery and disbanding of AIB, has been revived after all.
In an interesting aside, Netflix India also chose today to make buzz-worthy announcements on its Twitter handle. It unveiled four Indian Original movies by respected filmmakers, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Karan Johar and Vikramaditya Motwane.
That sets the stage for an interesting battle for eyeballs in India between the two streaming biggies.
The final winner, of course, will be the hungry-for-good-content Indian OTT viewer.
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