Large screen TV is where the most immersed customers are, says Amazon Prime Video India's Nitesh Kripalani

Amazon has big plans to grow in India

Amazon India has launched Amazon Fire TV Stick with remote this week and Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head, Amazon Prime Video India, said it was optimising content for the most immersed customers and focusing on experience.

The device is priced at 3,999 INR (including tax) and when you join Amazon Prime after purchasing one in India, you’ll get Rs. 499 added to your Amazon Pay balance – effectively granting you access to the service without any extra cost.

Amazon Prime Video also announced the animated prequel launch of the most awaited theatrical film of the year Baahubali :The Lost Legends, exclusively for its Prime members.

Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Fire TV said of the announcement: "Fire TV stick offers access to a vast selection of movies and tv shows, popular apps, and features designed specifically for customers in India including powerful voice search for Amazon video titles in English and Hindi."

Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head, Amazon Prime Video India, spoke to The Drum at the event to give an insight into what they aim to achieve through recent partnerships.

Why the decision to launch Fire stick here in India?

At Amazon we are all customer centric. We always want to know what our customers want and we know from locals we have visited that the best entertainment is consumed on a large screen television. That's where the most immersed customers are. Fire stick is super important in enabling that experience for our customers in India. Thus far, we have been on mobile, tablets, smart tvs and now fire sticks.

Amazon Prime Video partnered with Bollywood director Kabir Khan last week. Before that Dharma Productions. What do you aim to achieve through such partnerships?

The larger vision here is to change the way creators create content. We know that customers in India want to hear good stories and watch great stories in the episode format. They are currently binge watching on our Amazon original shows and watch a lot of US TV shows as well, which have great scripts, great ideas and great visuals. The goal is to take the current quality that Bollywood offers and do that across as an episode series. The way to do that is to work with the best filmmakers who are passionate about the projects they work on and working with the best writers. Today's best writers are making Bollywood movies. The goal is to get a combination of the top directors we have, getting their vision and visualization and combine them with great writers to make an episode series for India as Amazon originals.

Amazon recently got license for wallet payments. What is your opinion on wallet payments?

As a customer, I can tell you its a convenient way of access right now. Normal modes of payment require one to go through multiple authentication and OTP passwords. I can buy whatever product I want using my wallet to make payment. At Amazon we focus on how convenient the product is to use by our customers and it will be one of those.

Does Amazon Prime Video India plan to venture into Sports anytime soon?

We are constantly looking at different genres. It could be sports, it could be documentaries, it could be biopics, it could be comedy shows. Every genre that our customers want in India, we will evaluate and see if we can get it for our customers. The good thing is that customers in India are watching lot of sports beyond cricket, which is great. Also there is building of infrastructure of different sports in India, which is a good thing as its developing sports from the ground-up. That's positive for customer viewership overall. India, as a whole: its great that we are seeing the penetration of many more sports beyond just the handful.

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