Borrowing from the playbook of Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart reportedly intends to begin a free video streaming service in India in the coming months. The eTailer is looking to launch video streaming for Flipkart Plus loyalty program members by September before the peak Diwali shopping season, Bloomberg reported.
Customers of Flipkart can become members by collecting 300 “super coins” at the speed of two for every $1.40, or 100 rupees, spent through its platform. As Flipkart will not produce originals initially, the company will reportedly license content from local studios like Balaji Telefilms and companies such as Walt Disney. Unnamed sources claim that in-house content could come at a later time.
According to the report, Amazon’s Prime Video has been key in bringing in new shoppers and retaining existing ones. A streaming service could aid in leveling the playing field with the eCommerce retailer. India has grown into a “battleground” for large global streaming companies, from Disney-owned Hotstar to Netflix.
The services are competing in a market that could reach 829 million smartphones users by 2022, up from half a billion today, per estimates from Cisco Systems Inc. In addition, India’s video-streaming market could reach 10 times that size by the time 2023 rolls around, per a Boston Consulting Group report in 2018.
In separate news, Amazon is said to be exploring the purchase of a stake in Reliance Retail, India’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer. As a powerful growth market, both firms are reportedly eager to expand their presence in India. The Seattle-based eCommerce firm is eyeing a stake of below 26 percent, which would allow Reliance to sell on its Indian marketplace. Current regulations in India bar sellers that are over 26 percent owned by the platform.