Amazon launches Indian SVOD service in the US

Amazon Channels has launched an SVOD service for the US market, Heera, offering movies, TV shows and kids content in multiple Indian languages.

The new service, which will stream “several hundred” classic titles and recent releases, is being offered to Amazon Prime subscribers in the US for $4.99 per month following a seven-day trial.

Titles available through the service include Sultan, starring Salman Khan; Fan, with Shah Rukh Khan; and Kapoor And Sons, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt.

The service is also offering regional-language films such as Kabali, the top-grossing Tamil film of 2016; Marathi classic Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy; and Telugu-language title Eega, directed by S.S. Rajamouli (Baahubali: The Beginning).

Heera is the second internally curated SVOD service launched by Amazon Channels following Anime Strike, which focuses on Japanese animation and is also priced at $4.99 per month.

Amazon started offering paid channels that Prime subscribers could add to their existing packages in late 2015. It now has more than 100 partner channels including Showtime, Starz, HBO Now, Cinemax, Fullscreen, Machinima, DramaFever and Fandor.

Amazon has been acquiring huge volumes of Indian-language content for the Indian version of its Amazon Prime Video streaming service, which was launched in India at the end of 2016 as part of an expansion into 200 countries. As India has the world’s largest diaspora, the streaming giant has also been pushing to acquire rights for this content outside of India.