US e-tailer behemoth Amazon-run membership program Amazon Prime is now available on a monthly basis at Rs 129. In comparison to its earlier yearly programme, it is around 55 per cent costlier on an annual basis.
The new plan will be ideal for users, who only want to check the Prime services out and are not certain of a year’s commitment to the services.
The plan will come with some delivery and sales perks, which include access to Prime Video and Prime Music. At present, Amazon Prime offers free fast delivery on select ‘Amazon Fulfilled’ items along with no minimum order size. The option comes with auto-renewal, which bills a user’s card automatically each month.
Prime selection in India includes more than 40 million local products from third-party sellers. Prime Video is investing in Indian-origin video content in a big way, including two recent premiers and over a dozen new shows in production.
Pricing is said to be the key factor for driving Amazon Prime and Prime Video in India. Amazon Prime Video’s unlimited ad-free, on-demand service comes with an annual subscription of Rs 999, against Netflix’s Rs 500 for a single month.
One of the major reasons for Amazon Prime’s growth is its push towards the generation of local content in India. Amazon stated that it would invest $300 million for creating original content (in Hindi and regional languages), a segment, which analysts consider an Achilles heel in Netflix’s portfolio.
The US retailer has committed to putting in $5 billion to grow out its business in India. CEO Jeff Bezos in April had said that he will not shy away to plough further investments in India.
According to IHS Markit, Amazon Prime has around 10 per cent of market share in India.
In last two-three years, subscription-based product and services have gained significant grounds in the country. Adoption of paid membership such as Ola Share Pass, MMT Black, Hotstar, Netflix, Nobroker, Zomato Gold and a few others have shown noticeable growth.
Zomato Gold, which allows users to get complimentary food or drinks at around 2000 restaurants reportedly has 2 lakh paid subscribers. Netflix claims to have around 5 million subscribers. The subscription space is also inviting new players in the segment. Facebook too is testing paid subscriptions for group pages, where video or other content can be accessed for a monthly fee.
One of the positives about the subscription-based models is that the ultimate power lies in the hands of the customers. One thing is for sure, gradually users are preparing to pay for good content.
Will subscription business platforms be able to attract a large section of people and herald new trends? Only time will tell.