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This article was published on May 17, 2021

Amazon launches free ad-supported video streaming service in India

MiniTV is a streaming service inside Amazon's main app

Amazon launches free ad-supported video streaming service in India
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Amazon seems to be cooking up a new way to attract users in India to shop on its platform: a free video streaming service. The company launched a new ad-supported streaming platform called Amazon MiniTV that lives inside the main shopping app.

MiniTV currently resides in Amazon’s Android app and has various content sections including Comedy, Lifestyle, and Web Series. It’s separate from Amazon Prime Video, the company’s paid streaming service.

Amazon has partnered with content studios such as The Viral Fever (TVF) and Pocket Aces to bring their shows to the platform. Plus, the e-commerce giant has roped in various influencers and content creators to bring clips ranging from stand-up comedy, tech news and reviews, fashion, to food.

Amazon MiniTV streaming service launched in India

In a statement, the company said that it plans to add more exclusive content on the platform and integrate this into the iOS app as well:

Viewers will be informed on the latest products and trends by tech expert Trakin Tech, fashion and beauty experts such as Sejal Kumar, Malvika Sitlani, Jovita George, Prerna Chhabra, and ShivShakti. Food lovers can enjoy content from Kabita’s Kitchen, Cook with Nisha, and Gobble. In the coming months, MiniTV will add many more new and exclusive videos.

However, there’s no information on if it plans to experiment with product integrations or launch a separate app. We’ve asked the company to provide more details, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

Ad-supported streaming services have found some success in India, with Times Internet-owned MX Player being the top app in the category. Plus, there’s YouTube — which has more than 450 million users in the country.

MiniTV could be a marketing platform for Amazon to sell products or Prime subscriptions priced at ₹999 ($13.63) per year, which will you give access to Amazon Prime Video.

In January, the ecommerce company teamed up with mobile network provider Airtel to debut a mobile-only plan for ₹89 ($1.2) per month.  Amazon’s streaming rival, Netflix, launched a similar ₹198 ($3) plan in India in 2019.

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