Amazon Prime launches movie rental service in India

STORY: The world's second-most populous nation with a population of nearly 1.4 billion, India is a valuable market for Amazon and its rivals Netflix and Walt Disney Co's Disney+ Hotstar.

"We are fuelling the creative economy like I mentioned earlier, playing a role so that everybody, all the creators, can make more movies for our customers," Gaurav Gandhi, head of Amazon Prime Video India said at a function in Mumbai.

The move comes five years after the U.S. tech giant launched its streaming service in India, and the company said it planned to more than double its investment in Prime Video over the next five years, but did not give figures.

The company unveiled plans for 41 original series in three Indian languages, some to be produced by top Bollywood directors such as Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar.

"It goes without saying that the future of global streaming services is really about global expansion and moving much more ambitiously to serving customers in our international markets all over the world," said Kelly Day, Amazon Prime Video International's vice president.

Amazon has invested heavily in acquiring and producing local content in India, where, founder Jeff Bezos said in 2020, Prime Video was doing better than anywhere else in the world. Amazon does not break out user numbers by country.

It is also expected to take on heavyweights such as India's Reliance Industries, Sony Group Corp and Disney in the battle for exclusive digital broadcast rights to the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL).

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