Flipkart set to roll out free video streaming service to take on Amazon

The Flipkart delivery process. Photo: Bloomberg

Walmart-backed Flipkart is set to roll out a free video streaming service in what is being seen as its bit to take on its arch rival Amazon India. Amazon India had started its Amazon Prime videos service in December 2016 and has developed a strong line of followers with shows such as Made in Heaven and Mirzapur.

The main reason for the launch of this service is simple – Flipkart is eyeing the next 200 million consumers that are coming online. Flipkart believes that most consumers’ first touch point with the internet is through online video content, hence, video content and entertainment could play a key role in bridging the gap for consumers to come online and experience e-commerce.

“We believe that great content, if made available to a wider base of consumers, especially the ones who are new to e-commerce but not internet, can bring them on-board on an everyday basis and help take away any anxiety that they may have towards online shopping,” said Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy on the launch of ‘Flipkart Videos’, a curated range of movies, shows and entertainment series, adding that customers should not pay extra for premium content.

The video content offering is focused on three primary aspects: free, curated and personalised.

Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultancy Third Eyesight, says the content market is still evolving – if one looks at the number of customers paying partly or fully for services from Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar. “It’s still a small number. The pricing is too high for a customer base that is accustomed to free or cheap content. Also there is a lot of fluidity in terms of the platforms used. In India, content and pricing will be critical.”

In the meantime, Flipkart is launching its service in Hindi with an ‘audio visual guided navigation’ in Hindi to enable easy on boarding for new consumers. It is also redesigning its app which will allow users to access their preferred language, curated entertainment content and content feeds through the bottom navigation bar on the home page.

This article was first published on livemint.com