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Viewers’ discoverability of content is the next challenge for OTT players: Amazon’s Ravi Desai

The Director, Mass and Brand Marketing at Amazon India, tells how Prime Video is taking on competition from Netflix and other home-grown OTT players and shares the growth strategy of the e-commerce platform

Ravi Desai

Discoverability is said to be the next challenge for OTT platforms and the leading players are busy figuring out how to get maximum viewers’ discoverability for content.

In an interaction with, Ravi Desai, Director, Mass and Brand Marketing at Amazon India, shared how Amazon Prime is planning to get greater visibility for its content.

Desai said that Amazon Prime as a platform believes that if the right content is surfaced to the right customer base, it gives a big unlock as far as discoverability is concerned.

“We market our originals aggressively. If you take the case of Mirzapur or Inside Edge, we took the campaign and the message deeper than just being in metros so that we can create awareness about the content and get customers to adopt it. We figured out the deep pockets for them where they would be loved. Secondly, if a viewer is watching something, we algorithmically find options to figure out the viewer’s preferences. This is another unlock,” he said. 

Talking about the content pipeline of Amazon Prime Video, he said a lot of original shows were at different stages of production.

India currently has at least 32 small and big OTT players and according to market estimates, all platforms put together are going to invest nearly Rs 2,500 crore in production, marketing and distribution of content in the next three years. 

Last year, Amazon had introduced localised Hindi interface in India for its e-commerce business. To a question on whether it had any plan to get more vernacular with the interface, Desai replied, “We have around 170mn products and for us to get every single product out there with a Hindi interface is not an easy task. We are learning and improving our offerings. We will decide when the right time for us to go beyond Hindi.”

He added, “For us to be able to even interact with our customer base, it clearly demands for a strategy where our customers can understand us. And hence there is need for interfaces for both languages as well as beyond language, which is easily understandable and connectable for our customer base.”

From the past few months, Prime has been adding a lot of South Indian titles to its bank for viewers. To a question if it is because of the traction for the south Indian market, Desai said it is just a matter of what the customers want and a library is built according to their demands.

He said, “Some of the other language libraries are small today but it is just the matter of time before we beef them up.”

Believing in the philosophy of being customer-obsessed, is adding more selection to its lists and lowering prices, making it more convenient for the audiences to live up to the market thoughts. He said these are the fundamental pillars of the platform.

“With 300,000 + sellers, 170mn products, we are constantly trying to get closer to our customers so that we can deliver products at a higher speed, to more regions in deep, at a faster pace. If you go to the site after a month you will discover a lot more selection, new seller system, you will find products available in your city at your doorstep in your cluster. These are such durable customer needs,” he said. 

Moving it beyond the physical products available to the customers on site, last year made payments for applications such as Ola, Swiggy, Yatra and MakeMyTrip available through the Amazon Pay interface. Within a year, Desai said, that the platform was successful, making it an exciting journey in terms of building all the new and huge cases around Amazon Pay.  

He said, “We are finding integration possibilities as much as we can. Not restricting them to in site’s experiences, customers can now make the payments using offline experiences as well.”

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