The streaming service war is now being waged on mobile devices. Amazon Prime Video has announced that it is launching mobile-only packages in India. This service is, of course, to compete with Netflix which has launched mobile-only packages in India as well as in Africa.
Amazon Prime is launching these mobile-only packages in partnership with Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest mobile network operator. Airtel is second to Reliance Jio with 28% market share and more than 326 million subscribers.
In a report by Variety, the mobile-only package will cost US$1.21 after a free trial month.
“India is one of our fastest-growing territories in the world with very high engagement rates. Buoyed by this response, we want to double down by offering our much-loved entertainment content to an even larger base of Indian customers. Given high mobile broadband penetration in the country, the mobile phone has become one of the most widely used streaming devices. With the launch of Prime Video Mobile Edition we look forward to entertaining every Indian with our exclusive and original content.”Jay Marine, VP, Amazon Prime Video via Variety
The US$1.21 package will last for 28 days, at standard definition and will have 6GB of data. There is also the option of a US$4.09 pre-paid bundle which comes with 1.5GB of data and unlimited talk time (among many more packages).
Netflix, on the other hand, which launched its mobile-only plan in 2019 has an entry-level asking price of US$2.72 monthly. This makes Amazon’s initial package cheaper and the service also comes with a number of Emmy nominated Indian originals like Made in Heaven.
This isn’t to say that Netflix has been slacking when it comes to local originals. The streaming service has a number of Indian originals but the price point is a big deal.
Ok… So how does this affect us in Africa (and in Zimbabwe)?
As previously mentioned Netflix has been expanding its mobile-only packages not only offering them in India but in Africa as well. Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa are among countries where the service is available.
With Amazon venturing into mobile-only packages and at a cheaper price point (on its entry package), this will most certainly push Netflix to readjust its position. Amazon could also be using India as a testbed to see if these packages stick and if they do, who knows, Africa could be next.
The addition of talk time and other services in the plan could prove a masterstroke as many people (myself included) would like a streaming package to come with other services.
For Zimbabwe, the partnership between Airtel and Amazon should inspire local MNOs to explore the possibilities of offering a similar service. Netflix, for example, has been looking to crack the African market, and with Strive Masiyiwa now on its board, Econet and Netflix could partner up and offer something similar to the Airtel and Amazon partnership.