Both Amazon and Netflix are on the move internationally, and therefore, the streaming services are bound to continue to overlap as they open in new markets. According to reports, the video on-demand competitors are poised to face-off in fresh territory as early as 2016, courting the massive Indian viewing public.
India’s Economic Times reports today that Amazon has plans to add Prime, including instant video services, to its offerings in the country later this year. Sources close to the decision shared that the e-commerce giant will invest a whopping $5 billion, with the goal of making India its largest overseas market. For Amazon, which has been in India for two years, this is expected to include bolstering the capacity of its infrastructure, including warehouses and data centers.
Netflix’s expansion to India seems less imminent than Amazon’s addition of instant video services. THR cited a Times of India report in which sources indicate that Netflix has established plans to enter the Indian market by 2016. This would be consistent with Netflix’s intense focus on international expansion as of late, most recently underlined in a letter to shareholders on July 15. The uber-popular streamer discussed plans to launch in Japan, Spain, Italy, and Portugal this year, as well as “further global expansion in 2016.” China was the only country named for an anticipated 2016 debut, but the company hinted at entering additional markets, too. It looks like India may be on the docket.
No matter which company gets their Indian streaming operations up and running first, each will face competition from established services. Indian entertainment company Eros International runs ErosNow, a streamer that has over 19 million subscribers, according to THR. On top of that, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, and Singapore’s Singtel all backed the recent launch of Hooq, another rival service. We’ll see if there’s room for crossover, or if this turns into the Hunger Games of streaming.